11:38 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Ericsson workers walk outside the Ericsson factory in Boras , Sweden, October 4 , 2016

    Swedish Tech Giant Ericsson Hit by More Whistleblower Bribe Claims

    © REUTERS / TT NEWS AGENCY/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall
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    Swedish telecommunications giant has been hit with yet more claims of alleged bribery after its former executive Liss-Olof Nenzell said he had given the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents relating to millions of dollars of payments.

    A spokeswoman for Ericsson — which has faced a series of allegations over bribery dating back more than a decade — denied any wrongdoing, saying the payments referred to were from an era when the company used third party commercial agents.

    According to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter and Radio Sweden, "enormous sums" were sent via Zurich from the company headquarters in Sweden to secret recipients around the world. The media reports claimed the biggest bribes included US$150 million sent to bank accounts in Malaysia, and US$83 million sent to Poland, via the UK tax haven of Jersey.

    Radio Sweden also alleged that money was sent to politicians and senior civil servants in Costa Rica, including Miguel Angel Rodriguez, who was president of Costa Rica from 1998 to 2002.

    ​Radio Sweden said it had testimony from "several former top executives" who — speaking on condition of anonymity — "recounted how they were guilty of active corruption in securing contracts in a large number of countries."

    ​​​The latest allegations follow years of reports of alleged kickbacks by the Swedish company, dating back years. 

    In June 2016, Ericsson said it was cooperating with US authorities in an inquiry over possible corruption dating back three years.

    "We will not provide any detailed comments on the request as such, but can say that it relates to Ericsson's anti-corruption program and questions related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," the company said.

    In April 2014, Radio Sweden alleged that Ericsson paid US$18 million to a commercial agent which was then used to bribe Greek officials to secure a deal for Ericsson in 1999. In an interview at the time, Nenzell said that "politicians, generals and high-ranking state officials" had received the Ericsson money."


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