Friday , May 7 2021

DRC: United States eye on corruption and suspicion

Mining giant Glencore is the subject of a new investigation on suspicion of corruption. This is acknowledged by the Swiss company in a statement. After the US Department of Justice, the regulator of raw materials in the United States is interested in transactions led by Glencore. It is mainly suspicions of corruption in Venezuela, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo that Glencore is now the object of all these attention of various American institutions that indicate ties with the businessman already under sanctions. , The Israeli Dan Gertler, a personal friend of Joseph Kabila.

Do companies buy cobalt from Glencore and make sure that this supply is done without corruption? This is the question of the report on "Non-Governmental Resources" and "Science Po Paris" I have not seen or known.

In this case, Glencore is at the highest risk, continuing to pay royalties to Dan Gertler. Despite the sanctions against the Israeli businessman, the Swiss mining giant was paying $ 74 million last year to its former business partner.

Companies originating from Cobalt Glencore, including cobalt cobalt, are difficult to identify. Of the 14 large companies suspected to be reasonable buyers, only one-third acknowledged the supply of cobalt in Glencore. It is Samsung, Renault, BMW, LG Chemical.

Others, such as Apple, Peugeot, Volvo or even Volkswagen, have never responded to the survey. And for NGO Resource Matters, where shoes are pinched. Recognizing the efforts of the traceability of cobalt supply chains in the Congo, these efforts focus primarily on artisanal mining and on all human rights issues, such as child labor. .

But for large companies, traceability quickly reaches its limits. Only two of the company's official clients claim to have raised the problem of corruption. But Glencore denied all the charges, these companies felt that this answer is enough to buy.

A taboo question by Elizabeth Kissens

In this case, Glencore takes the risks, according to Elizabeth Caesens, resource resource manager. " For now, the biggest risk is taken by Glencore herself. Glencore makes the payments. Thus, if further steps are taken by the US administration, they would probably target Glencore first, rather than those from Glencore.

However, there are still some risks these companies take, by purchasing cobalt from Glencore. Because, depending on where they are, there are certain concepts of partnership and corruption. There are certain concepts of acceptance, that is, redeem the product that is the product of crime.

The crime has not been proven in the meantime, the investigation is underway … but the risk is there. Many companies consider the issue in the Land Registry, preferring not to talk about it, preferring to deny that Glencore is their (trading) chain, while there are indications (that is).

So the first thing to recognize is that there is a problem. Once they identify the problem, steps must be taken to contain the risk of corruption that this payment represents.

One way to do this would be, for example, to tell Glencore that audits of these payments are required. What are these payments used, how these payments are used once they reach Mr. Gertler, what will we do with them? Meanwhile, these steps are not taken."

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