French Business Fined $777 Million For Funding ISIS

On Tuesday, the French cement manufacturer Lafarge SA admitted guilt and settled a U.S. federal criminal case by paying $777.8 million to ISIS and another terrorist organisation to keep a cement factory running in Syria.

Even while the terrorist organisation kidnapped and killed Westerners, payments totaling $10.24 million were transferred to ISIS, the al-Nusrah Front, and middlemen between August 2013 and October 2014.

French Business Fined $777 Million For Funding Isis
French Business Fined $777 Million For Funding Isis

U.S. Attorney Breon Peace stated, “Lafarge has confessed and accepted responsibility for its astonishing crime.” Never before has a company been accused of supplying resources to international terrorist groups.

Executives at Lafarge Cement Syria, according to Peace’s office, sourced materials from suppliers under ISIS control for their cement plant in the Jalabiyeh region of northern Syria and made monthly “donations” to ISIS and ANF so that plant personnel, customers, and suppliers could pass through checkpoints.

After some negotiation, Lafarge Cement Syria “decided to make payments to ISIS depending on the amount of cement that LCS supplied to its clients,” Peace’s office claimed.

Lafarge pled guilty and was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, after an indictment accusing the company and its now-defunct Syrian subsidiary with conspiring to give material assistance to a designated foreign terrorist organization was unsealed.

Authorities have indicated they are still looking into the incident and have not yet charged anybody.

Peace said that “in the middle of a civil conflict, Lafarge took the unimaginable option to transfer money into the hands of ISIS, one of the world’s most cruel terrorist groups,” all in order to maintain their cement sales.

For economic gain, Lafarge “sought ISIS’s help to destroy Lafarge’s rival in return for a portion of Lafarge’s sales,” Peace stated. “Lafarge did this not only in exchange for authorization to run its cement facility – which would have been terrible enough.”

In 2015, Holcim of Switzerland acquired Lafarge.

Lafarge issued a statement saying, “Lafarge SA and [Lafarge Cement Syria] have taken responsibility for the acts of the individual executives involved, whose behavior was in blatant breach of Lafarge’s Code of Conduct.

Lafarge expressed its “great sorrow that this behavior happened” and stated it has coordinated with the U.S. Department of Justice to end the case.

As reported by CNBC, Holcim has issued a statement in which it expresses its approval of Lafarge’s plea deal with the DOJ.

 

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