Global commodity trading giant, Glencore, reportedly flew bribes worth millions of dollars to Nigerian government officials in private jets, a London court was told on Wednesday.
According to the Financial Times, Glencore is being tried for bribes paid to government officials in Nigeria and Cameroon.
The company was said to have also paid a Nigerian middleman more than €4 million in disguised service fees, according to the report.
The report also stated that a UK subsidiary of the commodity trader and mining group will be sentenced this week at Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty in June to seven counts of bribery following a serious fraud office investigation.
It said, “Glencore set aside $1.5bn to settle a series of global probes, including about $1.1bn for US authorities As the SFO’s investigation focused on Glencore’s London office and its west Africa desk, which sourced oil across the continent.
“The money was transported, often by private jet, from Nigeria to Cameroon to a Glencore oil trader who used it to pay bribes, according to the SFO, with $13.7mn paid to officials in Cameroon’s national oil and gas company and the country’s national refinery in the three years to March 1, 2015.”
According to the court, Glencore used a Swiss cash desk to distribute bribe money.
In a series of transactions classified as “office expenses,” the trader on the West Africa desk withdrew €6.3 million in cash from this desk.
The court heard that the SFO had received evidence from Anthony Stimler, a UK citizen who worked on the company’s west Africa desk until 2019 and pleaded guilty to charges in the US last year, according to the report.
He confirmed that the payments to the Nigerian agent were a “sham” to conceal the true purpose of the payments.