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Ex-Glencore exec cops to Nigerian bribes

Tanker at sea

A former Glencore employee has reached a plea deal with the US Department of Justice (DoJ), accepting involvement in the payment of bribes in Nigeria.

The trader acknowledged the deal. It said the conduct reported in the plea was “unacceptable and has no place in Glencore”. The company went on to say it had co-operated fully with the DoJ and other authorities in the investigation.

In a New York court, Anthony Stimler pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and money laundering.

The trader went on to say it had taken a number of remedial measures as a result of the investigation. It has enhanced its ethics and compliance programme in recent years, it reported.

Stimler joined Glencore in 1999 and left in August 2019. Bloomberg, citing court documents, said Stimler paid bribes between 2007 and 2018.

The executive paid bribes “to foreign officials in multiple countries, including Nigeria, on behalf of a commodity trading and mining company with global operations”. The papers go on to report the existence of seven unnamed co-conspirators.

Building up

Glencore received a subpoena from the US DoJ in 2018, looking at potential FCPA and money laundering issues in Nigeria Congo Kinshasa and Venezuela.

Reuters at the time suggested the US was interested in links between Glencore and Nigeria’s Atlantic Energy.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is also looking at Glencore’s activities. Specifically, around “corrupt practices in connection with commodities trading”.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Brazil and Switzerland are also looking into various bribery allegations at the company.

Glencore has taken a number of legal hits recently. In March, a trader for the company was charged with conspiracy to manipulate fuel oil prices. This week, another legal filing reported Glencore had agreed to pay $9.85 million to settle allegations around price manipulation of zinc.

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