A former United Kingdom-based trader for Glencore Plc, Anthony Stimler, on Monday pleaded guilty over what prosecutors in the United States described as his role in a scheme to bribe officials in Nigeria in exchange for favourable contracts from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Bloomberg reports that Mr Stimler admitted to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and commit money laundering at a hearing in Manhattan federal court conducted by video.
Prosecutors said millions of dollars in bribes were paid to officials in Nigeria, in exchange for NNPC awarding oil contracts and providing “more lucrative grades of oil on more favorable delivery terms.”
Reports said that court papers refer to seven alleged co-conspirators from several countries in the bribery scheme, which prosecutors said ran from 2007 to 2018.
None of them was, however, charged or identified by name.
In a statement Monday, Glencore confirmed that Mr Stimler had been an employee. The Anglo-Swiss mining company and one of the world’s largest commodity traders also said it has cooperated with probes by the U.S. Department of Justice and other authorities.
“The conduct described in the plea is unacceptable and has no place in Glencore,” the company said.
Mr Stimler worked on Glencore’s West Africa desk from around 2002 to 2009 and again from around 2011 to 2019, court papers show. He will remain free in the United Kingdom on a $500,000 bond, according to Bloomberg, even as his lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earlier in March, former Glencore oil trader Emilio Jose Heredia Collado pleaded guilty in San Francisco to manipulating a key oil price benchmark.
The Justice Department has been investigating Glencore’s business dealings in Nigeria, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo. U.K. and Swiss authorities have also been examining possible corruption involving Glencore, and various governments have investigated other large oil traders.
The spokesperson of Nigeria’s state-owned oil company, NNPC, Kennie Obateru, did not return a phone call as of press time Tuesday morning.