The Felons Within: Ex-Glencore Staff To Indict Nigerian Officials In Bribery Scandal

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The Felons Within: Ex-Glencore Staff To Indict Nigerian Officials In Bribery Scandal

The Felons Within: Ex-Glencore Staff To Indict Nigerian Officials In Bribery Scandal
September 04
16:22 2021

• How Briton paid millions of dollars to land juicy contracts

The cool kindliness of money, that smooths trouble away, may forever diminish in the scandal brewing between Glencore West Africa (GWA) and a few Nigerian public officers. For the latter, the rough grope of indignity is just a wild grasp away, perhaps, as speculations abound that they might be found complicit in an ongoing investigation involving former staff of Glencore, Anthony Stimler, a British national.

The company executive, who is suspected of having paid millions of dollars to Nigerian officials in return for contracts, has hired a top American lawyer who specialises in cases involving alleged white-collar crime.

Swiss trader, Glencore, which has been in the sights of the American Department of Justice for years on suspicion of irregularities at its subsidiaries in Africa and elsewhere (AI, 27/08/19), will see its activities in Nigeria come under scrutiny shortly.

Stimler, at the end of June, pleaded guilty before a New York Southern District court, to having paid commissions totalling millions of dollars to Nigerian officials, in return for crude oil supply contracts between 2007 and 2018. The ex-Glencore staff, who worked as an executive in Glencore’s West Africa department from 2002 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2019, has admitted that he breached the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and has been authorised to stay in the United Kingdom (UK), where he has his home until the trial opens in November 2021.

In the meantime, he has asked David S. Krakoff of the law firm, Buckley, to prepare his defence. Krakoff, a favourite with white-collar workers fighting the US Department of Justice, specialises in corruption cases involving the leading multinationals. Based in Washington, from 2014 to 2018 he defended Universal Entertainment, then headed by Japanese tycoon Kazuo Okada, after it was accused of FCPA offences.

In the Glencore case, Krakoff will be able to draw on his experience in another Nigerian oil case. From 2012 to 2014, he represented Noble Corporation in a dispute with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US federal body which oversees the country’s financial markets. Noble had been suspected of paying commissions to get authorisation for its drilling platforms to operate in Nigerian waters while avoiding import tax. Krakoff succeeded in avoiding a court case and saved Noble’s former chief executive, Mark Jackson, and the head of its Nigerian subsidiary James Ruehlen, from paying any financial penalty.

That was unusual, in a suit initiated by the SEC.

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