AFP – Aluminum giant Alcoa will pay $384 million to settle charges it paid Bahrain officials huge bribes to secure business in the Gulf nation, US Justice officials announced Thursday.
Alcoa unit Alcoa World Alumina was accused of paying millions of dollars in bribes via a London middleman in an arrangement made “at the request of certain members of Bahrain’s royal family,” the Justice department said in a statement.
Operating through a shell company, the London broker marked up the price of alumina sold to a Bahrain government-controlled company by $188 million from 2005 to 2009, the Justice Department said.
The consultant allegedly paid tens of millions in “corrupt kickbacks” to Bahrain government officials and royal family members, using bank accounts held under aliases in Switzerland and other countries.
Alcoa agreed to plead guilty to one count of violating the anti-bribery provisions of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
An Alcoa statement said the company “welcomes the resolution of this legacy legal matter with the US Government.”
Alcoa said it will record a charge of $288 million to account for the settlements.
Alcoa said it cooperated with the investigation led by Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“There is no allegation in the filings by the DOJ and there is no finding by the SEC that anyone at Alcoa knowingly engaged in the conduct at issue,” Alcoa said.