(Reuters) – Glencore PLC said on Tuesday that it expects to pay up to $ 1.5 billion to solve allegations of bribery and market manipulation, as authorities in the US, UK and Brazil announced that three of the company’s subsidiaries plead guilty to crime .
The miner and commodity trading giant agreed to pay more than $ 1 billion in the United States and Brazil, where Glencore representatives also appeared in U.S. and British courts on Tuesday.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said a $ 1.1 billion deal with the United States would solve both a decades-long system of bribery of foreign officials in seven countries and separate criminal and civil lawsuits alleging that one of the company̵7;s merchant weapons manipulated oil prices into two. of the largest US shipping ports.
“This represents the Department of Justice’s largest law enforcement measure to date for a conspiracy to manipulate commodity prices in the oil markets,” Garland said at a news conference.
“We will continue to investigate, disrupt and hold responsible companies that violate our laws.”
The company said it expects a final global settlement, including a future fine in the UK, will not exceed the $ 1.5 billion it set aside in its reserves in February to resolve the probe into operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria. and Venezuela.
Each final resolution would end a multi-year US and British investigation that has persecuted the Swiss multinational, which is still facing corruption and bribery investigations by other countries, including the Swiss and Dutch authorities.
In Brazil on Tuesday, prosecutors said Glencore will pay $ 29.6 million directly to state-owned oil company Petrobras in compensation for fraud by the company and about $ 10 million to civil law enforcement agencies.
The UK Serious Fraud Office, which launched a 2019 corruption investigation codenamed Operation Azoth, said on Tuesday it had revealed “profit-driven bribes and corruption” over oil operations in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and South Sudan.
Glencore Energy (UK) Ltd, which on Tuesday said it would plead guilty to all charges in a hearing at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court, will be sentenced on June 21.
SFO claimed that Glencore agents and employees paid bribes worth over $ 25 million for favorable access to oil, with the approval of the company.
Damian Williams, Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor, called the bribery program “amazing.”