Australian mining company Iluka Resources acquired Sierra Rutile Ltd. in December 2016, and undertook a post-acquisition investigation into the company's operations in Sierra Leone. The corruption allegations uncovered by Iluka suggest that Sierra Rutile's former chief executive, John Sisay, approved bribe payments to senior government officials to secure mining licenses inherited by Iluka. Reports allege that an AUD 110,000 bribe payment was funnelled via a West African logistics company, Imatrix 101 Ltd, and deposited in a third party bank account. An amount of AUD 110,000 was separately paid by Sierra Rutile to Imatrix, according to company invoices.
The inquiry has also implicated Sierra Leone cabinet minister Diana Konomanyi, after it was discovered Sierra Rutile spent more than AUD 50,000 to provide her with international flights. Ms Konomanyi is reportedly considering becoming Mr Sisay's running mate in the presidential campaign.
Fairfax Media states that, in an exclusive interview, the director of Sierra Leone's corruption commission, Ady Macauley, has told Fairfax Media that he had launched his own bribery inquiry into Sierra Rutile's activities. The corruption commission has informed Iluka's management that they have commenced an investigation.
The Serious Fraud Office is reportedly investigating allegations of bribery of Sierra Leonean officials overseen by John Sisay.