Lafarge Cement fined US$778m for ISIS payments

Lafarge Cement fined US$778m for ISIS payments
19 October 2022

Lafarge Cement has agreed to plead guilty and pay a fine of US$777.8m for payments it made to terror organisation ISIS to keep operating a cement plant in Syria. The payments to ISIS, which reportedly totalled US$10.23m, were made from August 2013 to October 2014 and took place while the terrorist group was kidnapping and killing westerners, reports CNBC.

According to the United States Department of Justice, "The gains to all participants in the conspiracy, including LCS [Lafarge Cement Syria], the intermediaries and the terrorist groups, totaled approximately $80.54m."

In a statement, Lafarge said, “Lafarge SA and [Lafarge Cement Syria] have accepted responsibility for the actions of the individual executives involved, whose behaviour was in flagrant violation of Lafarge’s Code of Conduct. We deeply regret that this conduct occurred and have worked with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to resolve this matter.”

Holcim, which acquired Lafarge in 2015, commented, “None of the conduct involved Holcim, which has never operated in Syria, or any Lafarge operations or employees in the United States, and it is in stark contrast with everything that Holcim stands for."

“The DOJ noted that former Lafarge SA and [Lafarge Cement Syria] executives involved in the conduct concealed it from Holcim before and after Holcim acquired Lafarge SA, as well as from external auditors,” Holcim added. “When Holcim learned of the allegations from media reports in 2016, Holcim proactively and voluntarily conducted an extensive investigation, led by a major US law firm and overseen by the board of directors. It publicly disclosed the principal investigative findings in 2017 and separated from former Lafarge SA and LCS executives who were involved in these events.”

The investigation is ongoing and no individuals have been charged as yet.

Published under Cement News