Cement giant Lafarge has pleaded guilty to paying millions of dollars to the so-called Islamic State jihadist group.
The company pleaded guilty when charges were announced by federal prosecutors in New York City and by senior Justice Department leaders from Washington, US.
During the court proceeding, Lafarge was ordered to pay penalties totaling roughly $778 million (N339.4 billion).
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US Prosecutors accused Lafarge of turning a blind eye to the conduct of the jihadist militants, making payments to it in 2013 and 2014 as it occupied a broad swath of Syria — and while some of its members were involved in torturing or beheading kidnapped Westerners.
Lafarge, on its part, apologized for its mistake, saying: “We deeply regretted the events and accepted responsibility for the individual executions involved”.
It explained that the payments were designed to ensure the continued operations of its plant near the Turkish border in 2010 and also to protect staff at the plant as the country’s civil war intensified.
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