The passage through Switzerland and the Attorney General adds to the legal troubles facing the world’s most powerful commodity trader and his long-serving CEO of Ivan Glasenberg, who hinted that he might resign soon.
The Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s office said the probe was the result of an extensive investigation by law enforcement agencies opened last month into the activities of commodity traders operating in wealthy Alpine countries. Glencore is the first company to be specifically targeted as a result of the process.
The case against the Baar-based company relates to “a suspicion of criminal responsibility” concerning “the bribery of foreign public officials,” the prosecutor told the Financial Times.
“The presumption of innocence applies to all parties to the proceedings,” the prosecutor’s office said. No date has been set for the investigation to reach a conclusion.
In a statement Glencore said he had been informed by the prosecutor’s office that he had opened a judicial investigation into his “failure to organize measures to prevent suspected corruption” in the DRC. Glencore said he would cooperate with the investigation.
Glencore is the world’s largest commodity trader, moving millions of tonnes of metals, minerals and petroleum around the world. It is also one of the major and largest miners in the western mining company of the DRC, Africa’s copper producer and the source of half the world’s population of cobalt.
The company’s activities in the country were faced with the review due to its relationship with Dan Gertler, an Israeli businessman, who was placed on a sanctions list in December 2017.
At the time, the US Treasury said Mr. Gertler amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars in “opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals” in the DRC.
Glencore has always maintained that he did not secure his entry into the DRC in connection with operations with Mr. Gertler, but rather found himself in business next to him when they independently acquired stakes in mining property . Glencore then bought Mr. Gertler these projects.
In July 2018, Glencore was subpoenaed by the Ministry of Justice over possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices act (Law relating to its activities in Nigeria, Venezuela and the DRC.
The UK’s Serious fraud Office opened an investigation into the Glencore over “suspicion of corruption” in December 2019, saying it was examining the “business conduct of the Glencore group of companies, its officials , employees, agents and associates. ”
It is also the subject of an investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the United States market regulation product
Its response to the various investigations is being led by its president, Tony Hayward, the former CEO of BP.
Society is not alone in facing probes into the possibilities of corruption and corruption. Physical large-scale mining of commodity trading often involves exploitation in developing countries where it is difficult to get business without good connections to middlemen.
Rio Tinto is being studied by the Department of Justice and the OFS UK on a questionable $ 10.5m payment to a French expert who allowed the company to obtain the right to a giant ore deposit in Guinea.
Privately owned commodity traders the company Trafigura and Vitol are also being investigated (along with Glencore) on suspicion of bribes to employees in Brazil is state-controlled, the oil company Petrobras, in exchange of contracts.
Gunvor, a Geneva-based energy trader, paid $ 95m to settle a Swiss bribery deal last year.