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Alcoa accused of bribery by Bahrain firm; more than $1B sought

Alcoa accused of bribery by Bahrain firm; more than $1B sought

A company majority-owned by the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain has accused aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. of bribing officials through shell companies overseas to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in overpayments.
Aluminum Bahrain BSC is seeking more than $1 billion (euro660 million) in damages from the Pittsburgh-based company and other defendants, according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday.
The Bahrain company, a 30-year Alcoa customer also known as Alba, contacted the U.S. company about two weeks ago to say it had two weeks to investigate allegations of bribery or face legal action, said Kevin Lowery, an Alcoa spokesman.
Alcoa launched "a very fast review," he said, but found nothing that deviated from its standard practices, which prohibit any improper activity.
"We're not aware of any wrongdoing by Alcoa or its employees," Lowery said. "That said, we intend to vigorously defend this."
Aluminum Bahrain, which bought alumina _ a precursor ingredient used to make aluminum _ from Alcoa, alleged that Alcoa and others had conspired in a "massive, outrageous fraud."
"Defendants bribed one or more former senior officials of plaintiff (Aluminum Bahrain) and the government of Bahrain to induce plaintiff to cede a controlling interest in that company to defendant Alcoa and to overpay for alumina," the suit alleges, according to court documents. "The bribes were sent through a series of shell companies that defendants ultimately controlled."
The suit says financial records show Alba paid for alumina through various small companies in Singapore, Switzerland and the Isle of Guernsey, with some of the money paid as bribes to officials who approved the contracts.
Alcoa is the world's third-largest aluminum producer.
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On the Net:
http://www.alcoa.com


Updated : 2021-06-20 08:18 GMT+08:00