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Rio Tinto to pay $15mn to SEC over bribery scheme
Stefania Palma in Washington

Rio Tinto has agreed to pay $15mn in a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused the mining company of violations linked to a bribery scheme in Guinea.

In an order released on Monday, the SEC alleged that a French investment banker hired by Rio Tinto in 2011 attempted to make an illicit payment of at least $822,000 to a Guinean government official in an effort to help the company retain its mining rights in the country. The mine in question ultimately was not developed.

The SEC said that Rio Tinto had insufficient controls to “detect or prevent” such misconduct and violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The company neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s findings

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