US subpoenas mining giant Glencore in corruption probe

Glencore, which is based in Switzerland, may also be facing a British fraud probe over its operations in the DR Congo. (AFP)
Updated 03 July 2018

US subpoenas mining giant Glencore in corruption probe

GENEVA: Mining giant Glencore said Tuesday that it has been subpoenaed by the US justice department as part of a corruption investigation linked to its business in Nigeria, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Glencore “has received a subpoena dated 2 July, 2018 from the US Department of Justice to produce documents and other records with respect to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and United States money laundering statutes,” the company said in a statement.
“The requested documents relate to the Glencore Group’s business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela from 2007 to present,” it added.
Glencore further said it was “reviewing the subpoena and will provide further information in due course as appropriate,” without providing further details.
Glencore, which is based in Switzerland but listed on the London stock market, may also be facing a British fraud probe over its operations in the DR Congo, Bloomberg reported in May.
The news sent the company’s stock plunging down 7.5 percent at 322 British pence through early trading.


Japan, South Korea hold export talks, seek dispute solution

Updated 16 December 2019

Japan, South Korea hold export talks, seek dispute solution

  • Japan in July tightened trade controls on South Korea materials used in high-tech products
  • Tokyo also downgraded Seoul a month later from a list of preferential trade partners

TOKYO: Senior officials from Japan and South Korea were holding talks Monday on high-tech exports for the first time since Tokyo tightened controls on South Korean semiconductor parts earlier this year.
The director-general level meeting was taking place in Tokyo between Yoichi Iida of Japan’s Trade Control Department and his South Korean counterpart, Lee Ho-hyeon. The two officials shook hands at the beginning of the talks, though they made no opening remarks to the media.
A meeting of this level had not been held in more than three years.
Japan in July tightened trade controls on South Korea materials used in smartphones, television screens and other high-tech products, citing national security concerns. Japan also downgraded South Korea a month later from a list of preferential trade partners.
South Korea has demanded Japan reverse the measures, saying Tokyo has weaponized export controls in retaliation for South Korean court rulings demanding Japanese companies pay compensation to former Korean laborers over their treatment during Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. Tokyo has pressed Seoul to stick with a 1965 agreement in resolving their dispute over wartime Korean laborers, criticizing the court decisions a violation to international law.
Japan’s trade curbs against South Korea have led to subsequent retaliatory measures that spilled into the area of national security, with Seoul threatening to abandon a key military intelligence sharing pact with Tokyo.
The pact was saved just hours before its expiration in November, following Washington’s repeated pressure and with Tokyo agreeing to resume export control talks requested by Seoul.
Monday’s talks come a week ahead of a planned summit between the two countries and China.
Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers, Toshimitsu Motegi and Kan Geun-wha, both attending the Asia-Europe Meeting in Madrid, Spain, talked briefly and welcomed their trade officials’ meeting in Tokyo, Japanese officials said. The two sides also agreed to cooperate closely on threats from North Korea and to achieve next week’s summit.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Japan’s export control measures are part of the country’s international responsibility and that “they are not something that we decide by negotiating with a trade partner.”
“Our policy has been consistent and there is no change to our position,” Suga said, referring to Japan’s position on the wartime compensation issue. “We urge South Korea to act wisely.”
South Korean national assembly speaker Moon Hee-san is seeking to set up a compensation fund for the Korean wartime laborers with an option that allows Japanese companies to chip in donations as a compromise.