An alleged international bribery scandal enveloping a listed Australian mining company has dramatically widened, with new evidence suggesting the firm may have bribed Congo‘s Mines and Geology Minister as well as the country’s President, The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
Leaked documents reveal Sundance Resources gifted millions of dollars’ worth of shares to a company directed by the brother of Republic of Congo mining minister Pierre Oba. The mining minister’s support has been critical for Sundance to progress the firm’s Nabeba Congo iron ore venture, which has the potential to be one of the biggest iron ore projects in Africa.
Meanwhile, a [Reagan-Fascell] research fellow at the US Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, Elie Smith [right], has revealed that two Sundance representatives told him in a meeting in the Congo that they had “promised a bribe to [mining minister] Pierre Oba and the family of the President” [Denis Sassou Nguesso] to win government backing for the Australian company.
Mr Smith, a former prominent Congolese journalist, said he would provide the Australian Federal Police a sworn statement about this disclosure. The two company representatives made the comments after they asked him to organise a meeting with Congolese officials in around 2014. He said he believed Sundance had bribed the ruling regime in a manner that raised serious corruption and human rights concerns in a country blighted by oppression and graft.