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Serious Fraud Office charges Glencore with seven counts of bribery

24 May, 2022 | News Releases

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged Glencore Energy (UK) Ltd with seven counts of bribery in connection with its oil operations.

At a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today, the company indicated it will plead guilty to all charges.

In June 2019, the SFO opened an investigation, codenamed Operation Azoth, into Glencore for corruption.

SFO investigators exposed profit-driven bribery and corruption across the company’s oil operations in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and South Sudan.

The SFO’s case is that Glencore agents and employees paid bribes worth over $25 million for preferential access to oil, with approval by the company.

The SFO has worked in parallel with the US and collaboratively with the Dutch and Swiss prosecutors on this investigation.

The SFO’s prosecution and the court’s sentencing of Glencore will be dealt with at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday 21 June.

Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, said:

“This significant investigation, which the Serious Fraud Office has brought to court in less than three years, is the result of our expertise, our tenacity and the strength of our partnership with the US and other jurisdictions.

“We won’t stop fighting serious fraud, bribery and corruption, and we look forward to the next steps in this major prosecution.”


Notes to Editors:

  • Operation Azoth is an investigation into the UK based subsidiary of Glencore, Glencore UK Ltd and its 100% owned subsidiary Glencore Energy (UK) Ltd, in relation to oil trading and related activities.
  • The SFO has charged Glencore with seven counts of bribery under the Bribery Act 2010, five substantive charges under Section 1 and two under the corporate failure to prevent bribery offence, section 7. 

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