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  HOME | Oil, Mining & Energy (Click here for more)

US Subpoenas Glencore over Compliance with Anti-Corruption Laws

BAAR, Switzerland – The United States Justice Department has demanded that Glencore PLC hand over records related to the Anglo-Swiss mining giant’s compliance with laws against foreign-corrupt practices and money laundering concerning its business in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Venezuela.

Glencore disclosed in a statement on Tuesday that it had received a subpoena.

It said it was reviewing the request and “will provide further information in due course.”

The company said the subpoena was dated July 2 and related to its operations in the three countries from 2007 to the present.

Shares of Glencore fell more than 12 percent in early trading.

Glencore has oil businesses in Venezuela and Nigeria. In Congo, Glencore operates a pair of giant copper mining operations that also produce cobalt, a key ingredient of lithium-ion batteries that power mobile phones and electric vehicles.

Since the US government’s subpoena covers several countries, that indicates “there is a relatively thorough investigation at hand,” said Tyler Broda, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

Glencore’s Congo operations have received heightened scrutiny in recent years in part because of the company’s ties to Israeli diamond tycoon Dan Gertler.

In December, the US Treasury Department sanctioned Gertler for alleged corruption in Congo.

A friend of Congolese President Joseph Kabila, according to the Treasury Department, Gertler became a partner with Glencore in the 2000s as they maneuvered to gain a stake in the country’s lucrative copper belt.

Gertler, through a spokesman, has denied wrongdoing.

The Wall Street Journal reported last year that the Ontario Securities Commission, Canada’s primary securities regulator, is investigating payments that one of Glencore’s Congo copper-mining operations made to Gertler.

Glencore disclosed in November an OSC investigation into Katanga and said three Katanga Mining directors were stepping down.

Glencore is one of the world’s largest diversified mining companies and is also among the world’s largest traders of commodities, including coal, oil and copper, employing 146,000 people in more than 50 countries.

The company was formed in 1994 when its current chief executive, Ivan Glasenberg, and a team of executives bought out controversial financier Marc Rich for $1.2 billion.

 

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