A British subsidiary of mining firm Glencore has pleaded guilty in a UK court to a corruption offence for the second time in the past two months. He was accused of paying millions of dollars in bribes to ensure access to crude oil in several African countries.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) found that the bribes took place between 2012 and 2016. It was found that bribes of more than $28m (£22.8m) were paid through employees and agents of the Swiss-based firm.
The bribery allegations stated that the firm was intended to induce executives to “perform their actions improperly, or to reward them for doing so, by improperly supporting Glencore Energy UK Ltd in the allocation of crude oil cargoes”. Crude oil will be lifted and grade crude will be allotted”.
The mining giant has also pleaded guilty to corruption charges in the US and Brazil.
Glencore is expected to pay fines of up to $1.5bn (£1.2bn), but is currently making record profits. From sales of metals, minerals and agricultural products, it says profit will exceed $3bn (£2.4bn) in the first half of the year.
A British subsidiary of the firm pleaded formally at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday to seven counts of bribery in connection with oil operations in Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast and South Sudan.
The SFO said Glencore attempted to secure access to oil and make illegal profits in its oil operations in five countries. It still faces investigations in Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Last month, the firm agreed to a $1.1bn (£900m) settlement in the US over a plan to bribe officials in seven countries over the course of a decade. It pertains to the mining giant’s operations in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela.
In May, when Glencore last pleaded guilty to seven counts of bribery, the SFO said it had uncovered “profit-driven bribery and corruption” in Glencore Energy UK’s oil operations in five African countries.
At the time, the chairman of Glencore said there had been “unacceptable behaviour” in relation to the bribery allegations at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. The SFO said the company’s agents and employees paid bribes of more than $25m for preferential access to oil, with the company’s approval, between 2011 and 2016.