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Ericsson probed over suspected bribes

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Ericsson probed over suspected bribes
09:06 CEST+02:00
Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson is suspected of having bribed ministers in Romania in connection with being awarded a contract for the country's emergency number and is now under investigation in the United States.

Swedish business daily Dagens Industri (DI) reported on Tuesday that Ericsson had agreed to provide the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with documents related to how the company compensated agents based abroad.

According to DI, the compensation used a bank account in Switzerland to make "secret" payments to the company's agents all over the world.

The move comes following a request by the SEC about the payment scheme following media reports about payments made in Romania.

Ericsson is suspected of having paid bribes to ministers in Romania ten years ago when it was awarded a major contract for the country's national emergency number.

The compensation scheme is no longer in use by Ericsson, DI reported.

On Monday, it emerged that a former Ericsson boss accused the company of having a secret account in Switzerland to pay different agents, with hundreds of millions of kronor being funneled through the accounts to unknown recipients around the world.

The high-ranking manager making the claims, which were revealed by court documents, and another previous boss have in turn been accused by Ericsson of swindling the company.

According to DI, Ericsson can now prove that the money went to an account controlled by one of the directors.

A third Ericsson boss reportedly paid back his share of the money and left his post.

TT/The Local/dl

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