The French daily Le Monde is reporting that a French-Swiss construction firm,
LafargeHolcim Group, made pay offs to Islamic militants in Syria, “one third of whom are outlawed,” according to the newspaper.
The payments were apparently made in order to ensure that the company’s cement factory located in Syria was not targeted by the militants.
“Probably, those in charge of the work [of the plant] chose the best acceptable method for the enterprise and its employees. Nevertheless, investigation has found significant mistakes contradicting the code of conduct at the time,” the company said in a statement as quoted by Le Monde.
According to Le Monde, the company admitted that its business unit in Syria, which had belonged to Lafarge before its merger, “transferred money to third parties to reach agreements with some of the armed groups, one third of whom are outlawed.”
In June 2016 Le Monde exposed that Lafarage had paid “taxes” to Islamic State (otherwise known as ISIS or Daesh) when the terror group took control of the area surrounding their facility.