Glencore faces British criminal probe

Protesters demonstrated outside the Glencore HQ in Switzerland last year. © Keystone / Urs Flueeler

Swiss commodities giant Glencore is being investigated by the British Serious Fraud Office (SFO), it emerged on Thursday. The company would give no further details, but it already faces questions about its dealings in several countries.

This content was published on December 5, 2019 - 15:26
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The SFO said it “confirms it is investigating suspicions of bribery in the conduct of business by the Glencore group of companies, its officials, employees, agents and associated persons,” but would add no other detail.

The commodities trader has come under increasing pressure over suspicions of engaging in questionable business practices. Last year, it was subpoenaed by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) in relation to its activities in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Venezuela.

This followed a criminal complaint submitted in Switzerland by the NGO Public Eye against the company’s activities in DRC, including suspect links with billionaire Israeli businessman Dan Gertler.

Leaked documents, known as the “Paradise Papers”, from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), exposed dealings of the commodities trading industry in Africa.

Last year, several media outlets reported that the SFO was considering a probe into Glencore’s dealings in the DRC.

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