French Cement Giant Pleads Guilty To Paying Islamic State Millions In Syria

French cement company Lafarge has pleaded guilty to paying millions to the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria in exchange for permission to keep a factory open during the height of the conflict.

French cement Giant Lafarge pleads guilty to paying millions to Islamic State
French cement Giant Lafarge pleads guilty to paying millions to Islamic State

Lafarge has been ordered to pay fines of approximately $90 million and forfeit an additional $687 million, giving them a total penalty of around $778 million.

Prosecutors detailed how the firm made payments in 2013 and 2014 to the Islamic State during the period when they were kidnapping and beheading westerners while occupying large areas of Syria.

The payments were made to ensure that a factory built by Lafarge in 2011 at the start of the Syrian civil war could continue to operate without interruption.

Assistant attorney general Matthew Olsen, said: "The defendants routed nearly six million dollars in illicit payments to two of the world's most notorious terrorist organisations - ISIS and al-Nusrah Front in Syria - at a time those groups were brutalising innocent civilians in Syria and actively plotting to harm Americans."

He added: "There is simply no justification for a multi-national corporation authorising payments to designated terrorist organisations."

The DOJ described the case as the first time a company has pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation.

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