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Swedish Telecoms Giant Admits Employees In Iraq Likely Bribed ISIS

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson has confirmed that in 2019, company employees in Iraq paid bribes to cross certain roads, violating company policy. Ericsson says they can’t rule out that ISIS got some of those bribes. Its CEO admitted this week it may have paid off terrorists "in an effort to gain access to the market."

Company stock declined on the news. While it’s not unusual for companies to pay for access in terrorist-dominated countries, paying ISIS directly would be a big embarrassment for the company.

This took place when ISIS was still in possession of parts of northwestern Iraq, and when access to the area around Mosul would’ve been hard without paying for passage.

Chief executive officer of Ericsson Borje Ekholm issued a comment related to a corruption probe that spanned nearly saying, "With the means we have, we haven’t been able to determine the final recipients of these payments." And further: 

Ekholm’s comments came hours after the company released a statement late on Tuesday admitting "serious breaches of compliance rules and the company’s code of business ethics" regarding Ericsson employees, vendors and suppliers in Iraq between 2011 and 2019.

The internal investigation into corruption-related misconduct revealed the following:

  • making a monetary donation without a clear beneficiary;
  • paying a supplier for work without a defined scope and documentation;
  • using suppliers to make cash payments;
  • funding inappropriate travel and expenses;
  • and improper use of sales agents and consultants.?

That’s no longer the case, as while ISIS is trying to rebound recently, they don’t hold broad territory in either Iraq or Syria. This was clearly a concern in the past though, and Ericsson may struggle to resolve the concern at this point.

The company had been pressured to open the two-year long probe due to "detailed media inquiries from Swedish and international news outlets" – after which it acquiesced.


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