As Liberia Intensifies GW’s Bribery Allegation, Sable Mining Also Launches Its Investigation

GWSable Mining Africa Limited (LON:SBLM) has launched another investigation after a jury in Liberia reportedly indicted it on charges including alleged bribery.

Ex-England spin bowler Phil Edmonds and CEO Andrew Groves strenuously denied any wrongdoing

Sable said it noted “recent media comment and speculation regarding allegations of bribery and corruption made against the company in Liberia.”

It said: “The company is investigating these matters and taking appropriate legal advice.

“The company will keep the market appraised of developments.”

News agency Reuters reported on Thursday that a grand jury in the west African nation’s capital Monrovia had indicted Sable, along with government officials including the speaker of parliament and the head of the ruling party, on charges including bribery.

The indictment alleged that the defendants conspired to use their positions to change Liberia’s public procurement and concessions law, according to a Reuters report.

It asserted they changed the law to allow the country’s mining minister to declare a concession area as a non-bidding area.

The indictment failed to say how Sable allegedly benefited from the change and Reuters said it was unable to independently determine if Sable actually did.

Earlier this month, anti-corruption campaign group Global Witness (GW) claimed Sable allegedly paid incentives to some of Liberia’s most senior government officials to change the country’s procurement law to win a big iron ore mining concession.

GW alleged that Sable and its Liberian lawyer paid more than US$950,000 in bribes and “other suspicious payments”.

Sable was formerly headed by ex-England cricketer Phil Edmonds, who stepped down as chairman in January 2014 and is no longer involved.

In a statement issued after GW published its report, Sable said it contained “inaccurate and unsubstantiated allegations” against Edmonds and its chief executive Andrew Groves.

The company said it appeared to have been based primarily on uncorroborated discussions with three former business partners, or their associates, of Groves and Edmonds, “whose testimony is unreliable.”

Edmonds and Groves strenuously denied any wrongdoing, Sable added.

Sable also said it had already carried out an investigation which had failed to find any evidence of malpractice. READ MORE OF THIS STORY

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About Cholo Brooks 17512 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.