Glencore to pay US$180m to Democratic Republic of Congo

Agreement reached with the DRC will cover all present and future claims arising from alleged acts of corruption in the country by Glencore Group

Glencore, the Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company based out of Baar, Switzerland, has said that it has reached an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo that covers all present and future claims arising from any alleged acts of corruption in the country by the group, between 2007 and 2018.

In a statement, Glencore said that this agreement includes activities in certain group businesses that have been subject to various investigations by, amongst others, the United States Department of Justice, and the DRC’s National Financial Intelligence Unit and Ministry of Justice.

The mining giant said it will pay US$180 million to the DRC to settle corruption claims and is the latest in a series of corruption cases that has seen Glencore pay out more than US$1.6 billion in fines this year. In May 2022, the company admitted to bribing officials in several African nations, including in the DRC.

The announcement follows investigations by American, British, and Brazilian authorities that also covered corruption claims in Latin America.

Under the terms of the agreement, Glencore International AG, on behalf of its Congolese-associated companies, will pay the DRC the US$180 million fine, and will continue to implement the Ethics and Compliance Programme the company committed to in its resolution with the DOJ. 

Kalidas Madhavpeddi, Chairman of Glencore said: “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. Glencore has actively promoted its Ethics and Compliance Programme in the DRC in recent years and looks forward to continuing to work with the DRC authorities and other stakeholders to facilitate good governance and ethical business practices in the country.”

The agreement is governed by Congolese law and the only admissions made are in respect of the conduct already acknowledged in Glencore’s resolution with the DOJ, the statement added.

Culture of Integrity

“As stated in its 24 May 2022 announcement of coordinated resolutions with US, UK and Brazilian authorities, starting before the Company knew of the DOJ’s investigations, Glencore has invested substantial resources towards developing a best-in-class Ethics and Compliance Programme.

“The Company has a refreshed Board and management team, including in its DRC operations, who are dedicated to fostering a culture of integrity, responsibility and transparency,” the statement continued.

In November this year, subsidiary Glencore Energy UK, said that it would pay a financial penalty and costs of £280,965,092.95 following the resolution of a UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation.

The investigation found that the company paid ₤23 million through agents and employees to officials of crude oil firms in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Ivory Coast between the years of 2011 and 2016.

This followed an announcement in May 2022 where the mining giant pled guilty to bribery and fuel market charges in the US and UK and agreed to pay US$40 million to settle in Brazil.

In a statement at the time, the mining giant said it would pay $700,706,965 to resolve bribery investigations and $485,638,885 to resolve market manipulation investigations by the Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as well as $39,598,367 under a resolution signed with the Brazilian Federal Prosecutor’s Office, also in connection with bribery.

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