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Article

19 Oct 2022

Author:
Eamon Javers & Dan Mangan, CNBC (USA),
Author:
// Le Monde avec AFP (France)

USA: Lafarge pleads guilty to financially supporting ISIS in Syria & agrees to pay $777.8 million fine

"French company fined $777 million and pleads guilty to paying ISIS as terror group killed Westerners", 18 Oct 2022

Lafarge SA on Tuesday pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $777.8 million to resolve a U.S. federal criminal charge related to the French company’s payments to ISIS and another terror group to keep a cement plant operating in Syria.

The $10.24 million in payments to ISIS, the al-Nusrah Front and intermediaries were made from August 2013 through October 2014, and occurred even as the terror group was kidnapping and killing Westerners.

“Lafarge has admitted and taken responsibility for its staggering crime,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace in a statement. “Never before has a corporation been charged with providing material support and resources to foreign terrorist organizations.”

Peace’s office said Lafarge Cement Syria executives bought materials needed for their cement plant in the Jalabiyeh region of northern Syria from ISIS-controlled suppliers, and paid monthly “donations” to ISIS and ANF, so that employees, customers and suppliers could cross checkpoints around the plant...

In a statement, Lafarge said, “Lafarge SA and [Lafarge Cement Syria] have accepted responsibility for the actions of the individual executives involved, whose behavior was in flagrant violation of Lafarge’s Code of Conduct...

Holcim in a statement to CNBC said it supports the plea agreement that Lafarge reached with the DOJ.

“None of the conduct involved Holcim, which has never operated in Syria, or any Lafarge operations or employees in the United States, and it is in stark contrast with everything that Holcim stands for,” Holcim said in that statement...

Lafarge was indicted by French authorities in 2018 in connection with the ISIS payments on charges of being complicit in crimes against humanity.

In its statement Tuesday, Lafarge said it “continues to cooperate fully with the French authorities in their investigation of the conduct and will defend itself against any judicial actions that it regards as unjustified in the French proceedings"...