BHP Billiton faces corruption probe over Beijing Olympics

City A.M. Reporter
MINER BHP Billiton yesterday said it believed it “complied with all applicable laws” in response to media reports that said it was being probed for its sponsorship of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Australia’s Fairfax Media reported yesterday that the US Department of Justice and the Australian Federal Police were investigating allegations that BHP provided inducements, hospitality and gifts to Chinese and other foreign officials.

The US Justice Department told Fairfax that it was conducting “law enforcement proceedings” involving BHP, which supplied the materials for gold, silver and bronze medals used in Beijing.

BHP said it was “cooperating with the relevant authorities” into the investigation.

“BHP Billiton is fully committed to operating with integrity and the group’s policies specifically prohibit engaging in bribery in all its forms,” it added.

BHP was a local sponsor for the 2008 Games paying Beijing organisers an undisclosed amount of money and providing materials for the 6,000 or so medals required for the Olympics and Paralympics.