French cement company Lafarge pleaded guilty in a US court on Tuesday to making payments to Islamic State and another terror group to keep a factory operating in Syria.
He agreed to pay $778 million as part of the plea deal.
Court heard that between 2013 and 2014, Lafarge paid Islamic State and Nusra Front, through intermediaries, more than $5 million to help keep one of its factories running . The payments were made even as IS kidnapped and killed Westerners.
“In the midst of a civil war, Lafarge made the unthinkable choice to put money in the hands of the Islamic State, one of the most barbaric terrorist organizations in the world, so that it could continue to sell cement” , U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.
“Never before has a company been accused of providing material support and resources to foreign terrorist organizations,” he added.
In a statement, the company said that “Lafarge SA and LCS [Lafarge Cement Syria] accepted responsibility for the actions of the individual executives involved, whose behavior was in clear violation of Lafarge’s Code of Conduct.
Although no one has been charged in the case, authorities said their investigation is continuing.
Lafarge — who was bought by Swiss company Holcim in 2015 – is also charged with complicity in crimes against humanity in Paris for keeping a factory open in Syria after the outbreak of conflict in 2011. Lafarge said in a statement that it “continues to cooperate fully with the French authorities.”