Norwegian Yara fined in corruption scandal

15th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

Norway's Yara, the world's biggest mineral fertiliser producer, said Wednesday it had been hit with a hefty fine by Norwegian authorities following an international corruption investigation.

The firm said it would not contest the 295-million-kroner (35.4-million-euro, $48.3-million) fine.

"The company acknowledges guilt and accepts a corporate fine," Yara said in a statement.

When it emerged that suspect payments had been made to a Libyan oil minister in the Kadhafi regime -- according to police -- just ahead of creating a joint venture in the country, Yara opened an external investigation of its international operations in 2011.

The investigation revealed other "unacceptable payments" in Switzerland and India, and led Norwegian police to press charges against the company for "aggravated corruption."

"The affair is about bribes to senior government officials in Libya and India, and to a supplier in Russia (via a Swiss subsidiary)," the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime confirmed Wednesday.

"In total, the bribes amount to around $12 million between 2004 and 2009".

The police criticised the management of the company, accusing it of failing to report the corruption allegations until 2011, despite having heard about them in 2008.

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© 2014 AFP

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