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European Firm Slapped with Fine for Illegal Payouts to Nigerians

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Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –

Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, charged with making secret payments to Nigerian officials, has settled the case for $47 million, reported the Bloomberg news wire.

Attorney General Mohammed Bello Adoke said Nigeria would accept the fine and withdraw the charges because the company expressed deep regret and promised to be of good conduct in all their future dealings in the country.

Adoke said the heavy fines imposed on Siemens, apart from the deterrence effect would go a long way toward financing infrastructural delivery in the country.

Siemens is no stranger to corruption lawsuits. In December 2008, Siemens agreed to pay $800 million – to settle U.S. charges that it violated anti-corruption laws by funding bribes to governments around the world, including in Nigeria.

According to court documents, the company paid bribes to foreign government officials to obtain business, falsified corporate records to hide the payments, and failed to implement effective internal controls that might have prevented such payments in Venezuela, China, Russia, Vietnam, Israel, Mexico, and Nigeria. This misconduct involved employees at all levels of the company, including senior management.

Further, kickbacks were paid to Iraqi ministries in connection with sales of power stations and equipment under the United Nations Oil for Food Program. Together with various penalties imposed by Germany, Siemens' penalties reached an astronomical $1.6 billion - the largest monetary sanction ever imposed for charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Due to the company’s “extraordinary cooperation” and “uncommonly sweeping remedial action,” Siemens remains a responsible contractor for the business of the U.S.

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