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Criminal proceedings against companies and their executives and employees

Below are our lawsuit profiles outlining criminal proceedings brought against:

Criminal proceedings against companies

Amesys lawsuit (re Libya): There are ongoing criminal lawsuits against the company for complicity with human rights abuses by the Gaddafi government in Libya by providing it with surveillance equipment before a French court.

Argor-Heraeus investigation (re Dem. Rep. of Congo): A criminal complaint by the Swiss federal prosecutors’ office against Argor-Heraeus SA alleged that the company had been involved in money laundering.

Chiquita lawsuits (re Colombia): A criminal complaint by the US government against the company for payments to paramilitary.

DLH lawsuit (re Liberian civil war): A complaint before the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Nantes, France, against DLH alleged that during the Liberian civil war, from 2002-2003, DLH bought timber from Liberian companies that provided support to Charles Taylor’s government.

Criminal complaint against Dutch ship-building firm for allegedly profiting from forced labour of N. Korean worker: A North Korean labourer sues a Dutch shipbuilding firm for allegedly profiting from his slavery.

Kaweri Coffee (part of Neumann Gruppe) lawsuit (re forced eviction in Uganda): There was a criminal complaint against Kaweri Coffee Plantation and the Ugandan Government alleging human rights violations.

Lafarge lawsuit (re complicity for crimes against humanity, Syria): Ex-Syrian employees and 2 NGOs filed a criminal complaint before French courts against Lafarge, for alleged abuses committed in Syria by its subsidiary Lafarge Cement Syria (LCS).In 2018, Lafarge was indicted by French investigative judges for complicity in crimes against humanity.

Nestlé lawsuit (re Colombia): An NGO filed a criminal complaint against the company for complicity in the murder of trade unionist.

Odebrecht lawsuit (re forced labour in Angola): A Brazilian prosecutor filed a lawsuit against the company in the labour court for forced labour.

Pfizer lawsuit (re administration of experimental drug in Nigeria, filed in Nigeria) Criminal charges were brought against the company in Nigeria following deaths and injuries during a drug trial.

Qosmos investigation (re Syria): NGOs filed a criminal complaint on the involvement of companies in supplying surveillance equipment to Syria.

Samsung lawsuit (re misleading advertising & labour rights abuses) NGOs filed criminal complaints in France against the company alleging misleading advertising practices, based on the incompatibility between Samsung's public ethical commitment and reports on working conditions in Samsung's subcontractors factories in China.

Syngenta lawsuit (re attack on rural workers in Brazil): The company was charged and found guilty of an armed attack.

Trafigura lawsuits (re Côte d’Ivoire): The company faced criminal charges in Netherlands for illegally exporting hazardous waste to Côte d’Ivoire. The allegations against the company are that it breached Dutch export and environmental laws as well as forging official documents.

TÜV SÜD criminal investigation in Germany (re role in Brumadinho dam collapse): Brazilians who lost close family members in the Brumadinho dam collapse, and two NGOs filed a law infringement complaint against German auditor TÜV SÜD.

Union Carbide/Dow lawsuit (re Bhopal, filed in India): A criminal court in India found Union Carbide India Ltd. and seven executives of the company guilty of criminal negligence in the Bhopal disaster.

Vinci lawsuit (re forced labour in Qatar): NGOs filed a complaint in France against Vinci over allegations of forced labour, servitude, and concealment in its construction sites for the football World Cup in Qatar.

Criminal proceedings against company executives and employees

Anvil Mining lawsuit (re Dem. Rep. of Congo): There was a criminal investigation (military prosecution) in DRC and in Australia against Anvil Mining employees for facilitating the abuses for giving the army vehicles.

BHP Billiton & Vale lawsuit (re dam collapse in Brazil): The Brazilian federal prosecutors filed homicide charges against 21 people, including top executives of BHP Billiton, Vale and Samarco, for the 19 deaths resulting from a dam collapse.

Blackwater USA lawsuit (re 16 Sep 2007 Baghdad incident): The US Department of Justice filed criminal charges against five individual Blackwater security guards for torture and other war crimes.

Cambodian villagers’ Intl. Criminal Court complaint (re land grabbing) : A group of Cambodian villagers filed a communication before the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Cambodia’s “ruling elite” including government-connected businesses, alleging that they undertook “widespread and systematic” land grabbing, through violence and forcible relocation.

Chisso Corporation lawsuit (re Minamata disease): The president of Chisso and a supervisor of the Minamata factory faced criminal proceedings in 1979 for causing death and serious bodily harm.

Danzer Group & SIFORCO lawsuits (re Dem. Rep. Congo): A criminal complaint in DRC court against two SIFORCO employees alleged complicity in attacks by the Congolese police and military. There was also a criminal complaint in Germany against a senior manager of Danzer Group also for complicity in the abuses.

Drummond lawsuit (re Colombia): A contractor for Drummond was sentenced by a Colombian court to 38 years in prison for organizing the killing of two labour leaders. The judge ordered prosecutors to investigate Drummond’s president and several former employees to determine whether they had a role in the killings. A former executive of Drummond was charged with the murder of two trade unionists.

Eternit lawsuit (re asbestos exposure in Italy): Criminal charges against two former Eternit directors for causing an environmental disaster and failing to take appropriate safety measures to mitigate asbestos exposure.

Ford lawsuit (re Argentina): A criminal complaint against the executives of Ford Motor Argentina, alleged that the company collaborated with the 1976-83 military dictatorship. The complaint accused Ford of helping the regime in political repression, abductions and mistreatment of Ford’s workers and union organisers.

Global Horizons lawsuits (re forced labour): Criminal charges of forced labour against four employees of Global Horizons Manpower (Global Horizons), a US-based labour recruiting company, and two Thailand-based recruiters.

Hudbay Minerals lawsuits (re Guatemala): There was a criminal trial in Guatemala against company’s security guards on murder charges.

Indesit lawsuit (re Poland): The company executives were found guilty for the breach of health and safety regulation, involuntarily manslaughter.

Lahmeyer lawsuit (re dam construction in northern Sudan): NGOs brought a criminal complaint against executive officers on the charges of causing forcible displacement.

Lundin Energy lawsuit (re complicity in war crimes, Sudan): In October 2018, the Swedish Prosecution Authority received approval in principle to indict the chief executive of Lundin Energy (formerly Lundin Petroleum) and the chairman of the Board, Alex Schneiter and Ian Lundin for allegedly aiding and abetting war crimes occurring between 1999 and 2003 in Sudan, now South Sudan.

Monterrico Metals lawsuit (re Peru): A criminal complaint was brought against security personnel on involvement in the abuses.

PA Child Care lawsuits (re "kids for cash" scandal): Owners of the juvenile facility were criminally charged and found guilty of failing to report a felony and being accessory to a conspiracy.

Produkty grocery store lawsuit (re modern slavery in Russia): Several criminal complaints against grocery store owners alleging severe labour abuses including forced labour, deprivation of liberty, passport confiscation and beatings.

Sanlu lawsuits: Criminal conviction against employees and fine for the company.

Sweatshop labour lawsuit (re Bolivian migrant workers in Argentina): The Buenos Aires Public Advocat brought criminal lawsuits against the workshop owners and the brand owners alleging complicity and involvement in the running of illegal workshops, breaching national laws (work, residence and migration) and using slave labour.

Tahoe Resources lawsuit (re Guatemala): Authorities brought criminal charges against company’s security manager for causing serious and minor bodily harm during the attack, and obstruction of justice in Guatemalan court.

Lawsuit against Tazreen Fashions (re factory fire in Bangladesh): The factory owners, as well as factory managers and security guards were charged with arson, culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and death by negligence

Union Carbide/Dow lawsuit (re Bhopal, filed in India) A criminal court in India found Union Carbide India Ltd. and seven executives of the company guilty of criminal negligence following Bhopal disaster.

US Deepwater Horizon explosion & oil spill lawsuits: Several U.S. Government investigations have been launched into the oil spill including civil and criminal probes conducted by the Justice Department. The criminal investigation considers whether improper relations between corporate officials and federal regulators contributed to the accident and breaches of environmental laws.

Vale-BSGR lawsuit (re complicity in violence against villagers in Guinea) A criminal complaint was filed against five members of the defence and security forces for the Zogota massacre. Nonetheless, the prosecutor dropped the charges for lack of jurisdiction.

Villaggio Mall lawsuit (re fatal fire, Qatar): The public prosecutor in Qatar brought a criminal case against seven individuals for their alleged involvement in the deaths of 19 people, including 13 children, in a fire at Villaggio Mall in Qatar.