The French anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office is preparing to take legal action against Lafarge, a French cement manufacturer, for suspected terrorist financing due to its business practices in Syria. Seven individuals from Lafarge’s management team and security department, as well as two Syrian middlemen, are being investigated for alleged acts between 2012 and 2014. The prosecutor’s office is also continuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed during this period.
Lafarge operated a factory in northern Syria until 2014 despite the ongoing civil war in the region. In order to sustain their operations, the company paid millions of dollars to armed groups active in the area at the time, including the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia, smaller Islamist groups, and Kurdish groups. These actions have put Lafarge in the crosshairs of judicial and legal action due to the allegations against them.
The seriousness of these allegations has drawn attention from legal authorities and raised concern among the public. If legal proceedings proceed, they will bring these allegations and suspicions to light, potentially leading to further consequences for Lafarge and those involved in their business operations in Syria. The tarnished reputation of Lafarge has resulted from efforts to remain operational in a volatile region where armed groups are active, leading to serious legal and ethical implications for the cement manufacturer.