September 29, 2017
This month, telecommunications firm Telia Co. and its Uzbek subsidiary Coscom LLC entered into the largest global foreign bribery resolution thus far, agreeing to pay a combined total penalty of more than $965 million to resolve U.S. and Dutch charges arising out of the bribery scheme. The next day, prosecutors in Sweden filed bribery charges against three former executives at Telia, including the former chief executive. In other news, Uber faces questions from the DOJ relating to its operations in multiple countries in Asia, and has asked outside counsel to investigate suspicious activity in at least five countries: China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea. Despite the Swiss settlement this summer with Addax Petroleum, the SEC and DOJ are now reportedly investigating Addax’s parent, Chinese state-owned enterprise Sinopec, over allegations that it paid Nigerian officials about $100 million worth of bribes through U.S. banks to resolve a business dispute. A former executive of Paris-based Alstom, Frederic Pierucci, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $20,000 for bribing Indonesian officials.
Several high-profile cases are underway outside the United States. This month the Swiss Attorney General broadened its bribery investigation into Gunvor Group surrounding its activities in the Republic of the Congo. India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed corruption charges against Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland, and Indian government officials. In the UK trial of F.H. Bertling, the company and six of its current and former directors pleaded guilty to and were convicted of conspiracy to pay bribes in Angola. Meanwhile in Sweden, the bribery trial of Bombardier Transportation Sweden employee Evgeny Pavlov began and promises to raise further questions about the company’s actions in Azerbaijan. The Israeli investigation into submarine company ThyssenKrupp continues with the arrest of six high-profile former government officials on suspicion of accepting bribes, fraud, breach of trust and conspiracy.
To watch this fall, two developing cases: the “Azerbaijani Laundromat,” a complex money-laundering scheme and slush fund that made secret payments to companies and politicians in the European Union; and the “Gupta Leaks,” in which several foreign companies operating in South Africa face bribery allegations relating to their work with businesses tied to the politically-influential Gupta family.
Visit the TRACE Compendium to view the complete entries on these cases, along with other updates from this month.