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BHP refutes accusations of bribery linked to the Beijing Olympics

Giant miner BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) (LON: BLT)(NYSE: BHP) denied Wednesday any wrongdoing after the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and US authorities launched a probe into bribery allegations surrounding the company’s multi-million-dollar sponsorship of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

According to The Australian, the AFP confirmed it was investigating allegations that BHP provided inducements, hospitality and gifts to Chinese and other foreign officials.

The law enforcement organization added that foreign bribery probes were “inherently complex” and “it would not be appropriate to comment any further on operational matters.”

Meanwhile, the world’s biggest mining company told Reuters it has been collaborating with “relevant authorities,” and that “it had complied with all applicable laws in regards to its Olympics sponsorship.”

BHP supplied the materials for gold, silver and bronze medals used in Beijing.

The miner has been under investigation for alleged corrupt practices in several countries before 2009, including China, Australia, Cambodia and the Philippines.

In 2010, BHP revealed it was conducting its own internal investigation in response to inquiries from US authorities. The probe, said the company at the time, had uncovered evidence “regarding possible violations of applicable anti-corruption laws involving interactions with government officials.”

The resource giant did not name the country or the now abandoned projects involved.

Image: ChameleonsEye /