Largest commodity traders glencore


The data comes from the offices of the offshore law firm Appleby and corporate services provider Estera, which operated together under the Appleby name until The records shed light on how a global colossus, aided by a trusted offshore law firm, uses financial havens to cloak its lucrative dealings in secrecy even as it wields vast influence in resource-rich but corruption-plagued parts of the world.

The Appleby documents show that Glencore diverted millions of dollars through Bermuda and other tax havens and fought off lawsuits and tax bills in Europe and the Caribbean.

Over the years, investigators have tried to piece together the full extent of the relationship between Glencore and Daniel Gertler, an Israeli businessman with friends in high places in the DRC, who helped Glencore negotiate access to the sprawling Katanga mine.

The leaked files provide the most detailed evidence yet of the behind-the-scenes lobbying and the money flows that helped Katanga, in which Glencore was just a shareholder at the time, acquire mining licenses. Glencore also said that it had recently moved most of its Bermuda entities to Switzerland or the United Kingdom.

As a new century began, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was a chaotic place. Under the leadership of President Joseph Kabila, the DRC set up a panel to review mining contracts with foreign companies. The review spread confusion through corporate headquarters in Europe, Asia and the Americas, including the offices of Katanga Mining Ltd. The Canadian-headquartered mining company held rights to valuable copper deposits in the DRC, and Glencore, already a Katanga shareholder, was eying the mine with ever greater enthusiasm.

Among the Katanga board members was Glencore shareholder and director Aristotelis Mistakidis. Gertler, an Israeli diamond and copper dealer who held his shares in Katanga through an offshore trust, was well-connected in the DRC. On one occasion, Gertler, Katumba and their families vacationed together aboard a yacht on the Red Sea before Katumba was to check into an Israeli hospital for an operation. After the operation went awry and Katumba slipped into a coma, Gertler rushed in 13 doctors, including three from London.

He was at my bedside day and night. One of the reports alleged that, as part of the deal, Gertler agreed to exchange diamonds for the delivery of weapons to Congolese armed forces at a time when human rights observers reported that feuding national armies, militias and warlords were killing and raping indiscriminately.

Years later, in , an expert panel led by former U. The United Nations has not cited him since , his lawyers said. Soon after the June agreement in Zurich to enlist Gertler, Katanga celebrated some good news. Records show Katanga was seeking money from potential investors to help it continue trading.

In , Global Witness, the U. The reduced bonus meant that Katanga would pay one quarter of what almost all other mining companies would have paid, on average, per ton of copper at the time, according to Elisabeth Caesens, an expert in Congolese mining deals who reviewed the leaked documents. Gertler vehemently rejects them absolutely. All negotiations were carried out on a legitimate basis, the lawyers said. After 10 years of business negotiations and thousands of pages of documents circulated through offshore companies, Glencore and the DRC now own the Katanga mines almost in their entirety.

Five months before Glencore bought out Gertler, the U. Gertler, it did so without any participation by him or any opportunity to provide any comment whatsoever. Gertler rejects absolutely any allegations of wrongdoing or criminality by him. Katumba died in a plane crash in A child refugee from Nazi-occupied Belgium, Rich attended private schools in Manhattan before dropping out of New York University to work at a metals trading firm, Philipp Brothers, now PhiBro, where he met his future partner Pincus Green.

In , Rich and Green were indicted in the United States on charges related to tax evasion and evasion of an embargo against trade with Iran during the Iranian hostage crisis. One of the reports alleged that, as part of the deal, Gertler agreed to exchange diamonds for the delivery of weapons to Congolese armed forces at a time when human rights observers reported that feuding national armies, militias and warlords were killing and raping indiscriminately.

Years later, in , an expert panel led by former U. The United Nations has not cited him since , his lawyers said. Soon after the June agreement in Zurich to enlist Gertler, Katanga celebrated some good news.

Records show Katanga was seeking money from potential investors to help it continue trading. In , Global Witness, the U. The reduced bonus meant that Katanga would pay one quarter of what almost all other mining companies would have paid, on average, per ton of copper at the time, according to Elisabeth Caesens, an expert in Congolese mining deals who reviewed the leaked documents.

Gertler vehemently rejects them absolutely. All negotiations were carried out on a legitimate basis, the lawyers said. After 10 years of business negotiations and thousands of pages of documents circulated through offshore companies, Glencore and the DRC now own the Katanga mines almost in their entirety. Five months before Glencore bought out Gertler, the U. Gertler, it did so without any participation by him or any opportunity to provide any comment whatsoever. Gertler rejects absolutely any allegations of wrongdoing or criminality by him.

Katumba died in a plane crash in A child refugee from Nazi-occupied Belgium, Rich attended private schools in Manhattan before dropping out of New York University to work at a metals trading firm, Philipp Brothers, now PhiBro, where he met his future partner Pincus Green. In , Rich and Green were indicted in the United States on charges related to tax evasion and evasion of an embargo against trade with Iran during the Iranian hostage crisis. Rather than face the count indictment, Rich fled.

The company was reborn as Glencore, the name reportedly drawn from the first two letters of each word in Global Energy Commodities and Resources.

Glencore thrived without Rich and, in , was listed on the London Stock Exchange. Overnight, a handful of its shareholder directors became multibillionaires or multmillionaires. The Swiss-based company has worked hard to improve its image.

It has funded antimalaria programs in Zambia, sponsored a turtle research boat for indigenous Australians and helped deworm cows, alpacas and llamas in Peru. Still, Glencore is never far from negative headlines. In recent years, protesting employees have alleged dangerous working conditions and unfair wages in Canada, Australia, Burkina Faso, Namibia and Colombia. In the Philippines in and , paramilitary forces killed three villagers during protests against a Glencore copper and gold mine, and in Argentina in , a court suspended gold and copper mining operations partly owned by the company after pollution complaints.

Glencore has denied allegations of wrongdoing in all of these instances. Appleby had worked for Marc Rich for years on business matters, including real estate, even after his indictment in the United States. A true Corporate Titan of our times. Glencore was a longtime major client of Appleby, which spun off a large part of its corporate services and private wealth management business in as an independent company named Estera.

The special room could have helped Glencore keep its taxes in check by convincing any curious tax collectors that the company was doing real business from the island, experts told ICIJ. In , Glencore asked Appleby to sign a board approval motion on May 6 that was dated April