Shares in the mining corporation Glencore were sharply down after the company pleaded guilty to charges of bribery in a number of countries. Seven counts of bribery were bought against the company relating to activities in several African countries.
The Serious Fraud Office pursued the case against the FTSE 100-listed company and sentencing will take place in November 2022.
Glencore has already stated it will pay a $1.1bn fee to settle the case in the United States and had indicated it would plead guilty in the UK case.
The charges related to bribery cases between 2011 and 2016, when the company was attempting to secure preferential access to oil. The case was heard at Southwark Crown Court on 21 June.
Glencore Energy was found guilty of all charges bought against it and paid bribes of more than £28mn to gain preferential access to oil, which included an increase in cargoes, more valuable grades of oil and preferred dates of delivery.
The offences took place in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and South Sudan.
The investigation into Glencore started in 2018 and potential charges are also faced in Brazil. Glencore had put $1.5bn to one side to pay off potential fines, but a record-breaking year will also see $4bn returned to shareholders.
It’s not anticipated that Glencore will need to pay much more than the $1.5bn already set aside for these cases.
The company says it has co-operated fully with authorities in the UK, US and Brazil regarding investigations and has put substantial sums of money into improving its ethics and compliance programme.
Glencore also stated that it has disciplined or dismissed the employees found guilty of such wrongdoing.
In the United States, Glencore has been the subject of both criminal and civil charges brought as a result of fuel price manipulation in two ports.
While in Brazil the company has agreed to pay approximately $40mn to settle outstanding bribery allegations and allegations of defrauding the Brazilian oil company, Petrobas.
Authorities in the Netherlands and Switzerland are also investigating potential wrongdoing which is thought to relate to Glencore activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.