Australia’s largest coal producer, the secretive Swiss commodities trader, Glencore, topped our Top 40 Tax Dodgers chart last year. This year, it is not even on the list.
There was one simple goal: to find out how much income tax was paid by Glencore, Australia’s biggest coal miner. Our quest had more spills than a Blues Brothers movie. We were met with the threat of a lawsuit, newspaper editors caving in with grovelling apologies, weeks of company searches costing hundreds of dollars, a hostile PR offensive run in rival media and the mining lobby and were still none the wiser.
Headquartered in Baar, Switzerland, the history of this global miner and commodities trader has all the hallmarks of a gripping corporate thriller, if anybody were game to write it. Founder Marc Rich was indicted in the US on federal charges of tax evasion and striking controversial oil deals with Iran during the Iran hostage crisis.