JOHANNESBURG – Tanzanian authorities have arrested a senior executive and filed dozens of criminal charges at the beleaguered African subsidiary of Barrick Gold Corp., intensifying a corruption investigation that has cast a shadow over Barrick’s planned merger with African-focused Randgold Resources Ltd.
The latest arrest is part of an investigation in which 39 charges have been filed against company subsidiaries, employees and former employees for tax evasion, corruption, forgery, conspiracy and money-laundering, according to a statement on Wednesday by Barrick subsidiary Acacia Mining PLC.
The charges date back as far as 2008 and “appear to relate to the historical structuring and financing” of the mines that eventually formed part of Acacia, the company said.
In the latest action in a wave of detentions, Tanzania’s anti-corruption bureau has arrested Alex Lugendo, chief adviser on government relations at Acacia, along with Acacia’s former vice-president of corporate affairs, Deo Mwanyika, according to reports in the Tanzanian media on Wednesday.
The two men remain in detention because the money-laundering charges do not permit bail for detainees under Tanzanian law, Acacia said. Last week, Acacia’s commercial manager, Maarten van der Walt, was arrested and charged with a corruption offence, according to an internal memorandum by Acacia’s chief executive officer, Peter Geleta.
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