Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/09 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/09 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/09 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/09 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/09 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/09 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/09 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/09 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/09 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 12/04 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 12/04 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/08 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 12/08 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 12/04 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 12/08 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 12/04 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 12/08 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 12/04 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Africa

French nuclear giant Areva accused of bribery in South Africa, Namibia, Central African Republic

media Areva's headquarters in La Defense near Paris, June 2015 AFP Photo/Bertrand Guay

Anti-corruption NGO Sherpa has filed a case against French nuclear power multinational Areva, alleging corruption related to a mining deal involving assets in South Africa, Namibia and the Central African Republic. The allegations centre on the 1.8-billion-euro purchase of three uranium mines in 2007.

“We have a strong suspicion of bribery,” relating to foreign government officials, Sherpa executive director Laetitia Liebert told RFI on Wednesday. “We are trying to understand how these suspicious operations could escape the attention of the compliance and audit committees of the group.”

Areva is 86 per cent owned by the French state. The company’s offices and homes of former executives were searched by France’s financial prosecutor last year.

Compliance staff at Areva “should have been able to detect” suspicious transactions and “alert the judicial authorities”, Liebert said. “We would like to make sure that the persons responsible are identified."

Uramin’s mining interests in South Africa, Namibia and the Central African Republic were bought by Areva for a vastly inflated sum, according to Sherpa.

They were worth “maximum between 600 and 800 million euros” but Areva paid “triple their value”, according to Liebert.

The 1.8 billion euros paid had to be written off when the mines proved unfeasible.

Areva’s involvement in the tender process for the construction of nuclear power plants in South Africa has also been called into question by Sherpa.

“Three or four months after the purchase [of Uramin], South Africa made a call for tenders for a nuclear power plant,” Sherpa’s executive director says. "This conjunction of facts can lead us to suspect that Areva intended to influence high ranking officials," Liebert says.

The acquisition of Uramin had been described at the time as a major step in increasing Areva's uranium production.

Areva were contacted by RFI for reaction to Sherpa’s civil case, a spokesperson said they "do not wish to comment".

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.