French cement firm to pay $780 million for supporting ISIS

Picture: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg through Getty Photos

A French cement firm agreed to pay roughly $778 million in monetary penalties after pleading responsible in U.S. federal court docket on Tuesday to paying off terrorist teams in Syria to maintain a plant there operational.

Driving the information: The corporate, Lafarge, pleaded responsible to 1 rely of conspiring to offer materials help to ISIS and the Al-Nusra Entrance, the Justice Division stated in a press launch.

  • Lafarge and a subsidiary paid the terrorist teams almost $6 million “at a time [when] these teams had been brutalizing harmless civilians in Syria and actively plotting to hurt Individuals,” stated Matthew Olsen, assistant lawyer basic for nationwide safety.
  • The corporate made the funds in 2013 and 2014, when ISIS was finishing up kidnappings, beheadings, and torture, in addition to focusing on journalists and help staff.

Particulars: Executives at Lafarge purchased cement manufacturing supplies from ISIS-controlled suppliers, paid ISIS to impose further prices on rival firms, and funneled month-to-month “donations” to each terror teams to make sure that workers and others may cross checkpoints within the space across the plant, per the DOJ.

  • Executives at Lafarge and its Syrian subsidiary additionally actively hid their scheme,” prosecutors stated, by omitting the corporate’s title on written agreements and creating invoices with faux descriptions, amongst different issues.
  • The penalty is the biggest settlement paid by a non-public firm for offering help to a terrorist group, the New York Occasions reported.

What they’re saying: The corporate stated in a press release Tuesday that it has “accepted duty for the actions of the person executives concerned, whose conduct was in flagrant violation of Lafarge’s Code of Conduct.”

  • “We deeply remorse that this conduct occurred and have labored with the U.S. Division of Justice to resolve this matter,” Lafarge stated.
  • Within the DOJ press launch, U.S. Lawyer Breon Peace for the Jap District of New York stated “Lafarge made the unthinkable option to put cash into the palms of ISIS, one of many world’s most barbaric terrorist organizations, in order that it may proceed promoting cement.”
  • “By no means earlier than has an organization been charged with offering materials help and assets to overseas terrorist organizations,” Peace stated.
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