Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson may have paid for Iraqi terrorist organizations to gain access to certain routes, the company’s CEO Borje Ekholm recently admitted.
“Extraordinary costs dating back to 2018” have been identified by the company, Ekhold told the local newspaper Dagens Industry. Bloomberg.. However, Ericsson has not yet determined the ultimate recipient of the money.
“What we are seeing is that transportation routes were purchased via areas controlled by terrorist organizations, including ISIS,” he said, and the company “quite quite” to understand the situation. He added that he spent “resources”.
Echom’s interview Press release Published on February 15 by Ericsson detailing the entire case. In 2019, the company began investigating anomalous billing in Iraq in 2018. The survey investigated Iraqi employees, suppliers and vendors between 2011 and 2019 and found a “serious breach” of the company’s corporate ethics code and compliance rules.
“It has identified evidence of corruption-related misconduct, including: Make a monetary donation without a clear beneficiary. Pay the supplier for work within the defined scope and without documentation. Use and pay in cash. Improper travel and expense funding. And improper use of distributors and consultants, “the company said.
In addition, several violations related to conflicts of interest, tax law violations, international financial management, and disruption of investigations have been discovered.
Several employees were removed from the company after discovering that the business may have paid for ISIS. In addition, disciplinary action and corrective actions were taken, including closing gaps in Ericsson’s internal processes within the region and integrating findings into compliance and ethics programs. The company has also terminated relationships with several third parties.
However, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has expressed dissatisfaction with Ericsson’s response to this issue.
“Despite Ericsson’s statement, the company has not responded to specific questions asked by journalists regarding various corruption related to its business in Iraq and other regions. ICIJ and its partners. Will publish the findings shortly, “the organization said. Said Ericsson on the same day he issued the statement.
“Ericsson promotes a culture of speech and takes all reports of fraud very seriously. In response to concerns reported or detected in connection with a breach of our business ethics or legal obligations. We carry out internal investigations on a regular basis. The 2019 Iraq investigation is one such example. Ericsson thoroughly investigates the new information revealed and takes all appropriate steps. “We will take action,” an Ericsson spokeswoman told the era.
In 2019, Ericsson settled an investigation led by the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by paying $ 1.1 billion.
The investigation focused on corporate corruption in countries such as Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and China. Ericsson was accused of bribeing civil servants to acquire customers, falsifying records, not using reasonable accounting practices, and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act between 2000 and 2016. I did.
Last year, US prosecutors ruled that Ericsson violated the terms of the settlement because Ericsson did not provide certain documents to the Justice Department.
Potential payments to ISIS could form part of the Justice Department’s investigation, according to analysts at the Swedish bank Handelsbanken. Banks predict that Ericsson’s exposure “is likely to harm stock prices.” Ericsson’s share price fell from about $ 115 on February 15 to about $ 101 as of February 16.