27th July, 2021
A scheme of graft in NNPC involving Anthony Stimler, a former U.K.-based trader for Glencore Plc has put the trader in trouble with U.S. Justice Department.
Stimler pleaded guilty on Monday in New York over what U.S. prosecutors called his role in a scheme to bribe officials in Nigeria in exchange for favourable contracts from the NNPC.
He admitted to conspiring to both violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and commit money laundering at a hearing in Manhattan federal court conducted by video, court records show.
Prosecutors said millions of dollars in bribes were paid to officials in Nigeria and elsewhere, in exchange for Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) awarding oil contracts and providing “more lucrative grades of oil on more favourable delivery terms.”
Court papers refer to seven alleged co-conspirators from several countries in the bribery scheme, which prosecutors said ran from 2007 to 2018.
The period covered Umar Shehu Yar’dua, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari eras.
None of the co-conspirators was charged or identified by name.
Stimler worked on Glencore’s West Africa desk from around 2002 to 2009 and again from around 2011 to 2019, court papers show.
Glencore is an Anglo-Swiss mining company and one of the world’s largest commodity traders.
It confirmed that Stimler had been an employee, and in a statement 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.
Stimler will remain free in the United Kingdom on $500,000 bond.
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.
In March, former Glencore oil trader Emilio Jose Heredia Collado pleaded guilty in San Francisco to manipulating a key oil price benchmark.
The case is U.S. v. Stimler, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 21-cr-00471