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Swiss Firm named in massive bribery of NNPC officials pleads guilty

Swiss Firm named in massive bribery of NNPC officials pleads guilty

Glencore International A.G. and Glencore Ltd., both part of a Switzerland-based multi-national commodity trading and mining firm named in massive bribery of officials of Nigeria’s state-owned oil company, have pleaded guilty and agreed to pay over $1.1 billion fine over their involvement in a corruption scheme.

The firms’ pleas are meant to resolve the United States’ government’s investigations into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and a commodity price manipulation scheme.

A United States’ Department of Justice press statement on Monday said that the guilty pleas are part of coordinated resolutions with criminal and civil authorities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.

“The rule of law requires that there not be one rule for the powerful and another for the powerless; one rule for the rich and another for the poor,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

“The Justice Department will continue to bring to bear its resources on these types of cases, no matter the company and no matter the individual.”

Last July, a PREMIUM TIMES’ report detailed how a former United Kingdom-based trader for Glencore Plc, Anthony Stimler, bribed officials in Nigeria in exchange for favourable contracts from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Mr Stimler, acting through subsidiaries of Glencore, conspired with others to make millions of U.S. dollars in corrupt bribe payments to officials in Nigeria. The former trader pleaded guilty over what prosecutors in the United States described as his role in a scheme to bribe and he admitted to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and commit money laundering at a hearing in Manhattan federal court conducted by video.

Prosecutors said millions of dollars in bribes were paid to officials in Nigeria, in exchange for NNPC awarding oil contracts and providing “more lucrative grades of oil on more favorable delivery terms.”

Charges

The US’ Department of Justice said that charges in the FCPA matter arise out of a decade-long scheme by Glencore and its subsidiaries to make and conceal corrupt payments and bribes through intermediaries for the benefit of foreign officials across multiple countries.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Glencore has agreed to a criminal fine of more than $428 million and to criminal forfeiture and disgorgement of more than $272 million. Glencore has also agreed to retain an independent compliance monitor for three years.

The department has agreed to credit nearly $256 million in payments that Glencore makes to resolve related parallel investigations by other domestic and foreign authorities.

“Separately, Glencore Ltd. admitted to engaging in a multi-year scheme to manipulate fuel oil prices at two of the busiest commercial shipping ports in the U.S,” the statement said.

“As part of the plea agreement, Glencore Ltd. agreed to pay a criminal fine of over $341 million,…

Read Full Story At: Premium Times.

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