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The French cement group Lafarge will pay 778 million dollars in the United States for having supported terrorist organizations in Syria, including the Islamic State group, between 2013 and 2014. The company remains indicted in France for “complicity in crimes against humanity “.
Lafarge pleads guilty for supporting the Islamic State organization. Now under the leadership of the Swiss group Holcim, Lafarge announced on Tuesday October 18 that it had agreed to pay a financial penalty of 778 million dollars to the United States for having helped “terrorist” organizations in Syria between 2013 and 2014.
The French cement group has “accepted responsibility for the actions of the individual executives involved, whose behavior was in flagrant violation of codes of conduct”, Lafarge said in a statement, adding “deeply regret” these acts.
Lafarge points out that the United States Department of Justice has acknowledged that the group has put in place appropriate control procedures to henceforth detect and avoid any conduct of this nature and has, therefore, considered that it is “not necessary”. to appoint an independent monitor.
The group also emphasizes continuing to cooperate fully with the investigation by the French authorities on the same subject but also says it is ready to “defend itself against any legal action that it considers unjustified”.
Between 4.8 and 10 million euros for the Islamic State group
The company is charged in France for “complicity in crimes against humanity” concerning its activities in Syria.
It is suspected of having paid in 2013 and 2014, through its Syrian subsidiary Lafarge Cement Syria (LCS), several million euros to terrorist groups, including the Islamic State (IS) group, as well as to intermediaries, in order to to maintain the activity of a cement factory in Syria, in Jalabiya, while the country was sinking into the war.
The investigation by the French authorities estimated that these payments could have reached between 4.8 and 10 million euros for the EI group alone.
Lafarge is also suspected of selling cement from the factory to IS and paying intermediaries to source raw materials from jihadist factions.
The shares of Holcim, the parent company of Lafarge, were temporarily suspended from the Swiss stock exchange on Tuesday after the publication of the first information on the agreement with the American ministry of Justice.