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Drummond fined $100M for failure to pay taxes claimed by Colombia

posted by Mimi Yagoub
Drummond fined $100M for failure to pay taxes claimed by Colombia

(Photo: Colprensa)

Colombia’s Comptroller General, Sandra Morelli, announced on Wednesday that the country’s highest fiscal control institution is currently investigating three cases in total against US mining company Drummond for tax obligations amounting to almost US$100 million.

US coal giant Drummond is under fire once again from the Colombian state, though this time the accusations have nothing to do with illegal coal dumping, but rather with issues concerning unpaid taxes.

“One of the inquiries began last year because of the extension of their beachfront concession, and it amounts to US$58 million,” the Comptroller General stated at a press conference.

The second charge against Drummond by the Comptroller General’ Office is for exceeding the limitations of its ship capacity.

“[Drummond] had agreed to a maximum of 77,000 tons, but our last audit established that they have boats of 176,000 tons, which results in a tax fine of US$10 million,” Morelli added.

These recently announced transgressions by the US-owned mining company – who contributes to a third of Colombia’s coal exports – joined an additional case which had been underway for around four months for US$25.5 million worth of unpaid royalties to the Colombian state. This figure will have increased since it was updated in December 2012.

The list of unpaid bills is running rather long for the US coal giant, which was fined US$800,000 earlier this week for not using direct coal loading techniques and therefore breaking environmental laws that were set in place on January 1 of this year.

MOREAlternatives don’t float boat for US coal giant Drummond

This comes not long after being penalized for US$3.5 million in December of 2013 for dumping nearly 2,000 tons of coal in the Caribbean Sea.

The most recently announced charges are in reference to the illegal expansion of Drummond’s barge loading bay from 492 feet to 1,932 feet, and from 104 feet to 164 for minor embarkations.

They have been brought against the company and four employees who were responsible for supervising the fulfillment of the contract.

MOREUS coal multinational Drummond denies new Caribbean coal spill

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About the author

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Mimi Yagoub is a French and Spanish undergrad student at Cambridge University, UK, where she specializes in Latin American literature. As a journalist she covers topics ranging from social issues and politics to travel and culture. She previously worked as a reporter in Santiago, Chile.

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