Portuguese / Spanish / English

Middle East Near You

Ex-boss of French firm charged with financing Daesh

Eric Olsen, CEO of LafargeHolcim and Chairman of the Steering Committee of the LafargeHolcim Foundation [LafargeHolcim Foundation]
Eric Olsen, former CEO of LafargeHolcim and Chairman of the Steering Committee of the LafargeHolcim Foundation [LafargeHolcim Foundation]

The former CEO of Swiss-French cement company LafargeHolcim has been charged with paying Daesh to allow the firm to continue operating in Syria, local media said Friday.

Eric Olsen was charged and bailed late Thursday, broadcaster France 24 said on its website.

The allegations relate to Lafarge before it merged with Swiss firm Holcim two years ago. Olsen was promoted from head of human resources to CEO after the merger and resigned in July when the allegations surfaced.

The French company is said to have paid Daesh and other militants around $5.6 million between 2012 and 2014 so production at its plant in Celebi, northern Syria, would not be interrupted.

Read: Iraq detains 1,400 foreign wives and children of Daesh fighters

Lafarge's Syrian subsidiary Lafarge Cement Syria is also thought to have used fake contracts to buy fuel from Daesh.

LafargeHolcim has admitted the company had behaved unacceptably to keep the factory running.

Three factory executives have been charged with financing terrorism, violating an EU embargo on Syrian oil and endangering lives.

Olsen was taken in for questioning Wednesday with former Lafarge CEO Bruno Lafont and former Deputy Managing Director Christian Herrault, both of who remain in custody.

Lafarge remained in Syria for two years after most Western companies had left.

Categories
Europe & RussiaFranceMiddle EastNewsSyria
Show Comments
Show Comments