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London court fines Glencore $310m over bribery schemes in Africa

BY Bunmi Aduloju

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A London court has ordered Glencore, a British mining and trading firm, to pay a $310.6 million (£276.4 million) penalty for seven bribery offences in relation to its oil operations in Africa.

According to Reuters, the ruling was made by Peter Fraser, presiding judge, at Southwark crown court on Thursday.

Glencore Energy UK Limited was ordered to pay a £182.9 million fine and a £93.5 million confiscation order.

Fraser said the offences to which Glencore had pleaded guilty represented “corporate corruption on a widespread scale, deploying very substantial sums of money in bribes”.

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“The corruption is of extended duration, and took place across five separate countries in West Africa, but had its origins in the West Africa oil trading desk of the defendant in London. It was endemic amongst traders on that particular desk,” he said.

On Wednesday, prosecutors said employees and agents of Glencore, delivered cash in private jets to oil officials in West Africa including Nigeria.

Prosecutors focused on the firm’s London trading desk, saying Glencore’s traders and executives paid more than $28 million in bribes to secure access to oil cargoes between 2011 and 2016.

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Recently, Nigeria was denied a bid to claim compensation from the mining company over bribes paid to officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.

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