In June 2022, Glencore, one of the world’s largest commodity traders, pleaded guilty to paying bribes to officials in three West African countries and for failing to prevent agents and employees from doing so in two other African countries. On 3 November 2022, Glencore was sentenced and ordered to pay a record amount of GBP 281 million (consisting of a GBP 182.9 million fine, a GBP 93.5 million confiscation order and GBP 4.5 million in respect of the Serious Fraud Office’s costs).
The last 10 to 15 years has seen a significant increase in criminal enforcement against companies, and an increase in co-operation between states when investigating and prosecuting corporate crime. As a result, multi-jurisdictional companies (and their employees) are at greater risk than ever of becoming involved in a criminal investigation, whether as a suspect or a witness. It is therefore important that companies and their employees are aware of the process that will be followed if they are required to provide evidence as part of a criminal investigation, and how best to prepare for that process.