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Yara fined $48 million for Libya, India bribes

Norway’s Yara International was fined $48 million by Norwegian authorities for paying $12 million in bribes between 2004 and 2009, the company said Wednesday.

Yara is among the world’s biggest fertiliser firms.

It admitted bribing senior government officials in India and Libya, including an oil minister of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

It also made corrupt payments to suppliers in Russia.

The company said a decision by the Norway’s National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime whether to prosecute individuals will be made soon.

Yara said a Swiss subsidiary made the payments.

“This is a serious case. Both the company’s external investigation and the [police] investigation has uncovered unacceptable and disappointing behaviour. We have throughout the process cooperated . . .  and given them access to all material,” Jørgen Ole Haslestad, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yara, said in a statement.

The Norwegian government owns 36.2 percent of Yara.

The company discovered the bribes in 2011 and reported them to Norwegian authorities, consistent with its zero tolerance for graft, it said Wednesday.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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