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Glencore subsidiary pleads guilty to bribery in Africa

June 21, 2022

Glencore has pleaded guilty to paying millions of dollars in bribes to secure crude oil in five African countries. It is the mining company's latest mea culpa in a series of bribery investigations worldwide.

The logo of Glencore in front of the company's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland
Glencore paid bribes of over $28 millionImage: Sigi Tischler/KEYSTONE/picture alliance

Glencore Energy on Tuesday admitted to paying over $28 million (€26.5 million) in bribes across five African countries to secure preferential access to oil and generate illicit profit.

The United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said the British subsidiary of Glencore Plc pleaded guilty in the Southwark Crown Court to "all charges of bribery brought against it."

The company paid the bribes in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and South Sudan for preferential access to oil, including increased cargoes, valuable oil grades and preferable delivery dates.

Sentencing will take place in November.

Glencore also liable in other bribery cases

The Swiss-based multinational last month said it expected to pay about $1.5 billion to settle fines and costs related to the investigations in the UK, US and Brazil.

The US Department of Justice said Glencore agreed to a $1.1 billion settlement last month to resolve a decadelong scheme to bribe foreign officials across seven countries, and separate charges alleging a trading division manipulated fuel oil prices at US shipping ports.

At the time Glencore said an independent compliance monitor would be appointed for three years "to assess and monitor the company's compliance with the agreements and evaluate the effectiveness of its compliance program and internal controls."

Glencore has also agreed to pay about $40 million to settle bribery allegations in Brazil.

The company still faces Swiss and Dutch investigations.

The SFO added that its Glencore investigation was still ongoing.

lo/msh (Reuters, AP)