Glencore, from Switzerland and one of the largest companies in the world in the commodity trade, will cooperate in an investigation that has been opened by the US Department of Justice and for which documents have been requested about its activities in three countries, among which Venezuela figure.
“The documents requested have to do with the Glencore Group’s business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Venezuela from 2007 to the present,” the company said in a statement.
The US authorities made their request for “documents and other records” to establish whether it has complied with the laws of this country against corruption and money laundering.
To respond to that demand, Glencore said it has set up a special committee in which its president, Tony Hayward, as well as two independent non-executive directors, Leonhard Fischer and Patrice Merrin, will participate.
Asked about the scope of his business in Venezuela and the nature of the information required about his activities there, Glencore spokesman Charles Watenphul said “we can not comment on anything additional to the statement.”
Quoted in the same, Hayward said that “the company as a whole takes ethics and compliance with the rules seriously”, so it will collaborate with the investigation.
Of the countries mentioned, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is an important center of activity for Glencore, where it operates, among others, cobalt mines, of which it is one of the largest suppliers and which is an essential component for batteries, including those of electric cars.
In the mining sector, it is also an important producer of copper, nickel, zinc, aluminum and steel, while in the energy sector it is a central player in the coal and oil business.
Glencore is also a company of great influence in the agricultural sector, as a producer, processor and supplier of various grains, edible oils, sugar and cotton.