• Sweden's news in English

TeliaSonera CEO quits amid bribery scandal

1 Feb 2013, 11:19

Published: 01 Feb 2013 11:19 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The news comes on the same day that law firm Mannheimer Swartling released the result of its investigation into the bribery and money laundering claims.

While the report, released on Friday morning, found no direct evidence that TeliaSonera paid bribes to establish operations in Uzbekistan, the report criticized the company for ignoring its own guidelines.

"I am greatly relieved that Mannheimer Swartling has not found anything to support the allegations that TeliaSonera committed bribery or participated in money laundering," Nyberg said in a statement announcing his decision to step down.

In commenting further on the report, Nyberg admitted that TeliaSonera hadn't handled its entry into the Uzbek market in an optimal fashion.

"Even if this transaction was legal, we should not have gone ahead without learning more about the identity of our counterparty. This is something I regret," he said.

Upon receiving the findings of the Mannheimer Swartling report, the board informed Nyberg there would be changes to the board's composition.

"I was informed that as a result of the pending changes to the board they were not prepared to express that support," he said.

"At that point I made up my mind that I would leave my position as chief executive and therefore I am resigning."

Allegations of bribery and money laundering at TeliaSonera emerged following a September 2012 report by Sveriges Television (SVT) investigative news programme Uppdrag Granskning.

According to the SVT report, TeliaSonera in 2007 allegedly paid a bribe worth 2.2 billion kronor ($337 million) to Takilant for 3G mobile telephone licences and frequencies in Uzbekistan, as well as a 26-percent stake in the Uzbek company Ucell.

Shortly after the allegations came to light, Nyberg promised he would resign if the bribery allegations proved true.

Story continues below…

While the report released Friday found no direct evidence that criminal acts had taken place, prosecutors continue a criminal probe into suspicions that TeliaSonera paid bribes to the company Takilant, which has ties to Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, in order to set up operations in the country.

Following Nyberg's resignation, TeliaSonera announced that CFO Per-Arne Blomquist would take over as acting President and CEO until a permanent replacement can be found.

The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available