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UK fraud unit finds bribe network behind world’s cobalt hub

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UK prosecutors have told Swiss authorities they have proof of an alleged money-laundering ring spanning from Africa to Europe that paid almost $380 million in cash bribes to authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Companies repeatedly bribed officials to further their business interests in the mineral-rich nation, according to the Swiss court judgment that cited information from UK prosecutors. Congo is Africa’s biggest producer of copper and supplies about 70% of the world’s cobalt, a critical input for the batteries that power electric vehicles.

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