SFO confirms investigation into suspected bribery at Glencore group of companies – Comment

The SFO today confirmed it is investigating suspicions of bribery in the conduct of business by the Glencore group of companies, its officials, employees, agents and associated persons.

Rahman Raveli’s Senior Partner Aziz Rahman said: “In many ways this comes as no major surprise. As a case, this has been rumbling on for some time. The US’ Department of Justice had subpoenaed documents relating to Glencore by the summer of last year. It was no secret even back then that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was already taking a very close interest in Glencore, which is after all an Anglo-Swiss operation. Its dealings in the Democratic Republic of Congo in particular appeared to be attracting the SFO’s attention.

“The fact that the SFO is now confirming an investigation into the Glencore group lengthens an already lengthy list of probes into the activities of energy and mining companies around the globe. With the DOJ already having taken action on this, the SFO’s confirmation of its involvement may well be an indicator of the increased levels of co-operation between enforcement agencies in a number of countries.

“This is the latest example of joined-up thinking between enforcement agencies when it comes to looking at activities in the mining and energy sector. It would be a surprise if it was the last.’’