Swedish-Finnish telecom operator TeliaSonera has been accused of “rotten” business dealings in Azerbaijan, following a separate bribery scandal in Uzbekistan.
Published: 27 May 2015 10:03 CEST
A TeliaSonera conference in Stockholm last year. Photo: TT
Folksam, which is one of the largest insurance companies in Sweden, has accused the firm of “systematic cheating”, after it emerged that TeliaSonera’s subsidiary in Azerbaijan had ties with the family of Ilham Aliyev, the Arab nation’s leader.
It has been claimed that the dictator’s daughters were shareholders of TeliaSonera's subsidiary Azertel, via a connected company based in Panama.
“It is distressing that in a large Swedish company…people thought that cheating would pay off in the long run,” Carina Lundberg Markow, one of Folksam’s managers told the TT news agency on Wednesday.
She criticized TeliaSonera for failing to act “in an honest and open way” when entering new markets.
“Instead, they choose to pay for success,” she added.
TeliaSonera is one of the biggest telecom operators in the Nordic and Baltic countries and also operates in several emerging markets in Eurasia including Russia and Turkey, as well as Spain. The Swedish state owns 37.3 percent of the company.