Lafarge under investigation over ISIS funding

Lafarge under investigation over ISIS funding
29 June 2018

Lafarge SA was charged on Thursday with crimes against humanity for funding Islamic State in Syria. The company was informed by magistrates that it had been placed under formal investigation for financing a terrorist enterprise, aiding and abetting crimes against humanity, and endangering life.

Previously, three Lafarge officials were handed charges for their alleged roles in indirectly funding Islamic extremist groups, enabling the cement producer to operate in war-torn Syria. Lafarge has acknowledged paying money to Syrian armed organisations in 2013-14 to guarantee safe passage for employees and supply to its plant at Jalabiya, which was operated by its Syrian subsidiary, Lafarge Cement Syria.

LafargeHolcim said that its Board of Directors commissioned an investigation to be carried out by independent external legal advisers experienced in complex international investigations as soon as the company became aware of the “irregularities that occurred in Syria”. The key findings of this investigations were published in April 2017 and showed that the subsidiary “provided funds to third parties to work out arrangements with a number of armed groups, which included sanctioned parties’.

The Chairman of the Board of LafargeHolcim, parent company of Lafarge SA, Beat Hess, said: “We truly regret what has happened in the Syria subsidiary and after learning about it took immediate and firm actions. None of the individuals put under investigation is today with the company.

“LafargeHolcim was formed in 2015 out of two proud champions, each with a tradition reaching back over 100 years. Prior to the merger the Lafarge Group had a comprehensive compliance program which was breached. We have further strengthened the compliance program and culture since the merger, to make sure that similar mistakes will not happen again. I believe our compliance culture is strong through our entire Group and with our dedicated employees we will overcome individual wrongdoings.”

Published under Cement News