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Mining giant Glencore sets aside USD1.5B for graft probes

ZURICH (AFP) – Mining and commodities trading giant Glencore said on Tuesday it had set aside USD1.5 billion to resolve corruption investigations in the United States (US), Britain and Brazil this year.

The Switzerland-based company made the announcement in its annual results which showed that it returned to profit last year, pulled up by higher commodity prices, following two years of deep losses.

Glencore said it had set aside the USD1.5-billion reserve to cover the costs of resolving several large and drawn-out corruption investigations that have been dogging the company for years.

“There were pockets of misconduct that happened in this business historically,” Glencore Chief Executive Gary Nagle acknowledged to reporters.

“We won’t see that ever again in this business,” he vowed, expressing his eagerness to conclude the probes and “move forward”.

Glencore disclosed in 2018 that the US Justice Department had launched a corruption investigation linked to the group’s business in Nigeria, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A year later, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said it was investigating suspicions of bribery by the Glencore group of companies and staff in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Brazil also opened a probe in 2018 into Glencore and trading groups Vitol and Trafigura over alleged bribery of employees at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Glencore disclosed in 2018 that the United States Justice Department had launched a corruption investigation linked to the group’s business in Nigeria, Venezuela and Congo. PHOTO: AFP
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