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Issues To Consider From The Gunvor Enforcement Action

Issues

This recent post highlighted the net $474.4 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Gunvor (a Swiss-based energy trading company – a subsidiary of Gunvor Group Ltd., a multinational energy commodities trading company registered in Cyprus).

In summary fashion, the DOJ alleged that between 2012 and 2020 Gunvor, through various managers, “knowingly and willfully conspired and agreed with others to corruptly offer and pay bribes to, and for the benefit of, Ecuadorian officials to secure improper advantages in order to obtain and retain business from Petroecuador in connection with the purchase and sale of oil products through contracts between Petroecuador” and state-owned energy trading companies based in Asia.

This post highlights additional issues to consider from the enforcement action.

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A Focus On Vietnam

Vietnam

President Biden recently traveled to Vietnam.

One purpose of the visit was to “elevate [the U.S.] relationship to Vietnam’s highest designation for foreign partners – a comprehensive strategic partnership – from its lowest.” (See here for the Wall Street Journal article).

According to the article, “while the new status is symbolic, it is aimed at giving American companies, including defense contractors, reassurance that the recent warming relations will endure, and promote Vietnam as a dependable location for U.S. manufacturing operations abroad.”

This is the latest example (see here for a similar recent post) of the U.S. government promoting doing business in a country with high levels of perceived corruption and a country that has been the focus of numerous FCPA enforcement actions.

Set forth below are the general details of fourteen FCPA enforcement actions (all since 2008) which have involved (in whole or in part) conduct in Vietnam.

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This Just Doesn’t Seem Like A Good Idea

DRC

The Democratic Republic of Congo is generally perceived to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Several Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions have concerned conduct in the DRC (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here) including against companies in the mining / resource extraction sectors.

Given the above dynamics, it just doesn’t seem like a good idea for U.S. government agencies to actively encourage U.S. companies to do business in the DRC mining sector.

Yet that is exactly what is happening – presumably to help accomplish a domestic policy goal of the current administration.

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Issues To Consider From The Gartner Enforcement Action

Issues

This recent post discussed the approximate $2.5 million FCPA enforcement action against Gartner based on conduct in South Africa – specifically conduct involving the South Africa Revenue Service (“SARS”).

This post highlights additional issues to consider.

Timeline

As stated in Gartner’s most recent annual report (Feb. 16, 2023):

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Issues To Consider From The Frank’s Enforcement Action

Issues

This recent post highlighted the approximate $8 million FCPA enforcement action against Frank’s International based on conduct in Angola.

This post highlights additional issues to consider.

Timeline

As highlighted in this prior post, in June 2016 Frank’s International disclosed:

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