Glencore, a commodities giant, has been ordered to pay $314 million penalty by a UK court for bribing officials across Africa to gain access to oil: “The SFO investigation found that Glencore had funneled about $29 million worth of bribes between 2011 and 2016 through its workers and agents across its oil operations in Nigeria, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and South Sudan”.
There is no way you will not like Americans and the British people: they extract fines on companies for misbehaving in Africa. Yet, the victims (yes, the Africans) get nothing because our governments are the ones being bribed, and cannot prosecute their dear customers!
But look deeper, everyone is being bribed. Indeed, the UK is bribed along with African leaders because in most of these court cases, one thing is missing: the identities of people who received the money. In this case, Glencore agreed that it bribed and has the list of those bribed in Africa, but the UK government has refused to make that list public.
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So, Glencore bribed in Africa, and in the UK, it bribed in the court. So, in the end, nothing changes. For Glencore, it can go back to its client and add an extra layer of costs, recognizing the bribes in Africa and the bribing-fines which never reveal the players, as the costs of doing business.
Judge Peter Fraser said Thursday that “bribery was accepted as part of [Glencore’s] West Africa desk’s way of doing business” and was “endemic amongst [its] traders.”
Bribes paid to state-owned oil companies and government ministries across Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and the Ivory Coast were often concealed as an unspecified “service fee”, “signing bonus” or “success fee,” the SFO said, citing Glencore’s financial reports.
It also found that, between 2012 and 2015, a Glencore trader and Nigerian agent withdrew a total $13.7 million in cash from Glencore’s Swiss cash desk. The cash was flown on a private jet to Cameroon, where it was used to bribe officials in the country’s national oil and gas companies.
So, in the end, nothing changes. Never see what the UK is doing as fighting corruption. I will hail them when they publish the names of these crazy Africans which remain sealed.
When you fail to constantly purify reason, ethical blindness takes preeminence, and what causes the latter? Power and special interest.
There are no good humans anywhere in the world by default, so wherever you see good people, it’s intentional and requires regular maintenance, else the goodness disappears.
The folks you are calling out cannot help you, because they are as incapable as the creatures that took the bribes, the only difference is the narratives.
Never underestimate human capacity to do evil, this you must always remember.