Swiss-based commodity trading and mining company Glencore agreed to pay $180 million to the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to settle claims arising from alleged corrupt practices that took place for more than a decade.
The agreement, announced Monday, covers “all present and future claims arising from any alleged acts of corruption by the Glencore Group in the DRC between 2007 and 2018,” including those already investigated as part of probes by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the DRC’s National Financial Intelligence Unit and Ministry of Justice, among others, the company said.
The settlement is the third Glencore has finalized this year. Collectively, the penalties are in line with the company’s expectation—as stated in its 2021 annual report—a provision of $1.5 billion would likely resolve all the regulatory investigations it faced.
In May, Glencore agreed to pay more than $1 billion as part of a joint settlement with U.S., U.K. and Brazilian authorities for bribery and market manipulation. In November, its energy subsidiary agreed to pay 281 million pounds (then-U.S. $314 million) as part of a deal with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO)—the highest financial penalty ever ordered in a U.K. corporate criminal conviction, and the first in which senior corporate officials were found to have actively authorized bribery rather than fail to prevent it.
As part of the latest settlement, the company must continue to implement the ethics and compliance program agreed to in its resolution with the DOJ throughout its DRC operations.
“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,” said Glencore Chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi in a statement. “Glencore has actively promoted its ethics and compliance program 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.”
Glencore said it has taken extensive remediation actions and allocated substantial resources to improve its corporate governance and stamp out bribery and corruption in its own operations, as well as those of intermediaries acting on the company’s behalf.
The company fired and disciplined employees involved in the paying of bribes and “refreshed” its board of directors and management team, including in its DRC operations, to better foster “a culture of integrity, responsibility, and transparency.”
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