Glencore announced it is under investigation by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office over suspicions of bribery, making it the third investigation the multinational commodity trading and mining company is now facing.
In a press release Dec. 5, Glencore said the SFO “has opened an investigation into suspicions of bribery in the conduct of business of the Glencore group.” The company did not add any further details, other than that it “will cooperate with the SFO investigation.”
Following this announcement, the SFO confirmed it is investigating suspicions of bribery in the conduct of business by “the Glencore group of companies, its officials, employees, agents, and associated persons,” the SFO said. “As this is a live investigation, we cannot comment further.”
In July 2018, Glencore Ltd, a subsidiary of Glencore plc, announced it received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice to produce documents and other records concerning potential violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.S. anti-money laundering statutes. The requested documents “relate to the Glencore Group’s business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Venezuela from 2007 to present,” the company said in a statement.
In April 2019, Glencore announced the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission also launched an investigation into whether the company and its subsidiaries violated certain provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and/or CFTC regulations through corrupt practices in connection with commodities.
Glencore was cited hundreds of times in the Panama Papers. It then came under heavy criticism in the Paradise Papers—the sequel to the Panama Papers—which revealed Glencore loaned tens of millions of dollars to Dan Gertler, an Israeli businessman with close ties to Joseph Kabila, former president of the DRC.
In December 2018, Katanga Mining, a Glencore-owned subsidiary, reached a CAN$28.5 million (U.S. $21.22 million) settlement with the Ontario Securities Commission for its lack of disclosure concerning its dealings with Gertler. Additionally, three Glencore executives stepped down from Katanga’s board after a 2017 internal review identified weaknesses in Katanga’s financial reporting controls.