Global commodity trading giant, Glencore, flew millions of dollars worth of bribes to Nigerian government officials in private jets.
This was revealed by a London court on Wednesday, as Glencore is being tried for bribes paid to government officials in Nigeria and Cameroon, reported by the Financial Times.
They added that Glencore paid a Nigerian middleman more than €4 million disguised as service fees.
Court to announce verdict this week: The report noted that A UK subsidiary of the commodity trader and mining group will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court this week after pleading guilty in June to seven counts of bribery, following a serious fraud office probe.
The report said,
“Glencore set aside $1.5bn to settle a series of global probes, including about $1.1bn for US authorities As the SFO’s investigation focused on Glencore’s London office and its west Africa desk, which sourced oil across the continent.
“The money was transported, often by private jet, from Nigeria to Cameroon to a Glencore oil trader who used it to pay bribes, according to the SFO, with $13.7mn paid to officials in Cameroon’s national oil and gas company and the country’s national refinery in the three years to March 1, 2015.
The court revealed Glencore had used a Swiss cash desk to dispense money to be used for bribery.
The trader on the West Africa desk withdrew €6.3 million in cash from this desk through a series of transactions listed as “office expenses”.
The report added that the court heard that the SFO had received evidence from Anthony Stimler, a UK citizen who worked on the company’s west Africa desk until 2019 and pleaded guilty to charges in the US last year. He confirmed that payments to the Nigerian agent were a “sham” to disguise their true purpose.
Previous cases of bribe:
Recall Nairametrics reported in May that Global mining giant, Glencore, earned profits of $124 million after paying bribes to Nigerian officials worth $52 million between 2007 and 2018.
This was disclosed by the US Justice Department in a Bloomberg report after the company agreed to pay $1.5 billion to settle US, UK, and Brazilian probes.
The court filing disclosed the company schemed to reach senior government officials in Nigeria within the period by using code words for bribes, including “newspapers” and “chocolates”.