Glencore agrees to pay Congo $180 million over bribery case

BAAR, Switzerland (AP) — Commodities company Glencore said Monday that it has reached an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo to pay $180 million over bribery allegations spanning from 2007 to 2018.

It comes months after the Anglo-Swiss company announced deals with authorities in the US, Britain and Brazil to pay a total of $1.5 billion to resolve all accusations of corruption and market manipulation.

The US Justice Department said in May that Glencore paid more than $100 million to intermediaries over 10 years, “intending that a significant portion of these payments would be used to pay bribes to officials” in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Brazil, Venezuela and Congo.

In Congo, Glencore acknowledged that it paid $27.5 million to third parties with the goal that a portion be used to bribe Congolese officials to secure improper business advantages, according to the Justice Department.

“Glencore is a long-standing investor in the DRC and is pleased to have reached this Agreement to address the consequences of its past conduct,” Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi said in a statement. The company “looks forward to continuing to work with the DRC authorities and other stakeholders to facilitate good governance and ethical business practices in the country.”

Last month, a British court ordered Glencore to pay more than 280 million pounds ($341 million) for using bribes to bolster its oil profits in five African countries. It pleaded guilty in June after an investigation launched by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office in 2019 found it paid bribes worth a combined $29 million to gain access to oil in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and South Sudan.

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