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US fines Kinross Gold for failing to prevent corruption in Africa

The SEC said in a statement Monday the company did little to verify payments to politically connected consultants and vendors.


US fines Kinross Gold for failing to prevent corruption in Africa
As part of the civil settlement Kinross did not admit or deny wrongdoing but pledged to improve its accounting and compliance practices. (Image Credit: Wikimedia)

The US Securities and Exchange Commission said Canadian-based mining company Kinross Gold Corp agreed to pay USD 950,000 to settle civil charges that it failed to ensure its payments in Africa were not being used to bribe government officials.

The SEC said in a statement Monday the company did little to verify payments to politically connected consultants and vendors - often made in cash - in Ghana and Mauritania were being used for their stated purpose.

For example between 2012 and 2015, Kinross paid a Ghanaian consultant USD 1,000 in cash per work visa he helped obtain for company staff, without detailing just what this former government official did to help expedite the process, the SEC said.

The US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compels companies to maintain bookkeeping practices aimed at preventing bribery.

Louie Diaz, a Kinross spokesman, said in an email that the SEC had made no findings that bribes had been paid, but rather targeted shortcomings in "timeliness and maintenance of our internal controls in West Africa, which we have strengthened and improved."

As part of the civil settlement Kinross did not admit or deny wrongdoing but pledged to improve its accounting and compliance practices, Kinross said in a statement.

The Justice Department notified Kinross that it had closed its parallel criminal investigation last year, Kinross said in a statement.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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