SABLE MINING AFRICA LIMITED

INDUSTRY

Extractive Industries/Mining/Oil & Gas

CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS

United Kingdom

SUMMARY OF ALLEGATIONS

Nationality of Foreign Officials: Guinea

Summary of Allegations:

In 2010, Sable Mining allegedly forged a relationship with Guinean President Alpha Conde's son and allegedly helped with the campaign logistics for 2010 Presidential Election.

Two years later, Sable allegedly was awarded mining rights to the Mount Nimba iron-ore project, in addition to authorization to export through Liberia, allowing Sable to use an existing railway line. Such authorization allegedly had been denied to some other mining companies.


Approximate Alleged Payments to Foreign Officials: assistance in campaign logistics for 2010 Presidential Election

Business Advantage Allegedly Obtained: government contract and authorization

Nationality of Foreign Officials: Liberia

Summary of Allegations:

In 2010, Sable Mining allegedly hired Varney Sherman, Liberia's well connected lawyer and current Chairman of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's Unity Party, in alleged effort to secure the Wologizi iron ore concession in northern Liberia.  Sherman allegedly advised Sable Mining that Liberia's concessions law must be changed to obtain the contract.  In addition, Sherman allegedly advised Sables Mining to bribe the senior officials to do so.  

Sable, through Sherman's law firm, Sherman & Sherman, allegedly paid bribes, recorded as "consulting fees," to government officials including Alex Tyler, Representative of Speaker of he House, Richard Tolbert, Chairman of National Investment Committee, Morris Saytumah, Minister of State for Finance Economic and Legal Affiars, and Willie Belleh, Chairman of Public Procurement and Concessions Commission, in sum of USD 185,000.  

In addition, Sable Mining allegedly made questionable payments in form of luxury goods, South African hunting trips, phone bills, donations to associated organizations, and other accommodations for other government officials in sum of USD 543,668.  The officials allegedly include Fombah Sirleaf, Director of National Security Agency, Sumo Kupee, Senator, Cletus Wotorson, Speaker of the Senate, Richard Tolbert and Ernest C.B. Jones, Dept. Minister of Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy. In total, Sable Mining allegedly offered USD 950,000 to former and current officials.

Sable Mining and the individuals allegedly succeeded in changing the law to give the Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy the power to declare a concession area as a non-bidding area.  However, although it is alleged that the amendment was intended to allow Sable Mining to win the concession without a tender, the company was not awarded the concession.


Approximate Alleged Payments to Foreign Officials: USD 950,000

Business Advantage Allegedly Obtained: Unspecified

ENFORCEMENT RESULTS

Agencies: Guinea: Justice Ministry
Results:
Year Resolved:
Compliance Monitor:
Ongoing: Yes
Details:

In May 2016, both Mines Minister Abdoulaye Magassouba and Minister of Justice Cheick Sacko indicated that they will investigate the allegations against Sable Mining in regards to their licenses in Guinea.

On 15 May 2016, President Conde announced that Guinea would take legal action against Global Witness to force the watchdog to provide evidence to back up its allegations.  This follows President Conde's denial that neither he nor any of his family members was involved corruption.

Despite President Conde's statement that Guinea will take legal action against Global Witness, Guinea officials have since clarified that Guinea does not intend to take legal actions against Global Witness but will seek to work with the watchdog to investigate the allegations.



Agencies: Internal Investigation
Results:
Year Resolved:
Compliance Monitor:
Ongoing: Yes
Details:

In May 2016, Sable Mining announced that they are investigating allegations of bribery and corruption in Liberia made against Sable Mining by the media.



Agencies: Liberia: Unspecified
Results: Prosecution of Public Officials
Year Resolved:
Compliance Monitor:
Ongoing: Yes
Details:

On 12 May 2016, following the report by Global Witness alleging wrong-doing by Sable Mining in Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered an inquiry into Sable Mining's attempt to acquire an iron ore concession in northern Liberia.

On 25 May 2016, Alex Tyler, Varney Sherman, Ernest C.B. Jones and Christopher Onanuga, Liberian businessman, were arrested and later released on bail.  On the same day, a grand jury in Liberia indicted the four individuals on charges of "economic crimes," including bribery, accusing the individuals of having used their positions to amend Liberia's public procurement and concessions law.



Agencies: Liberia: Unspecified
Results:
Year Resolved:
Compliance Monitor:
Ongoing: Yes
Details:

On 12 May 2016, following the report by Global Witness alleging wrong-doing by Sale Mining in Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered an inquiry into Sable Mining's attempt to acquire an iron ore concession in northern Liberia.  In the same statement, the Liberian government also announced that it had requested cooperation and assistance from the British government during the investigation into Sable Mining.

On 25 May 2016, a grand jury in Liberia indicted Sable Mining on charges including bribery.

In June 2016, Sable Mining Chief Executive Officer Andrew Groves was indicted by a jury in Liberia.



ENTITIES/INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED

DETAILS OF HOW CONDUCT WAS DISCOVERED

Discovery Method: Media or Investigative Report
Details:

A Global Witness expose released on 11 May 2016 reported on the allegations


Country: Liberia

Discovery Method: Media or Investigative Report
Details:

A Global Witness expose released on 12 May 2016 reported on the allegations


Country: Guinea

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