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    Published on March 24, 2023 last updated on March 24, 2023

    Ericsson Fined More Than $200 Million In The United States

    Swedish telecom equipment giant Ericsson will pay a $206.7 million fine to U.S. courts so it can settle a bribery case linked to the jihadist organization Islamic State in Iraq.

    This guilty plea agreement (195 million euros) ends a transactional agreement ("Deferred prosecution agreement", DPA) concluded in December 2019 with the United States.

    At the time, the group had already paid a billion dollars to the U.S. justice to end corruption prosecutions in five other countries (Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait).

    The agreement that has just been reached concerns Ericsson's failure to provide the US justice system, whose universal jurisdiction in many areas allows it to prosecute many foreign groups, with the results of an internal investigation into alleged bribes in Iraq.

    The case broke in February 2022, ahead of the publication of a vast press investigation coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

    The internal investigation referred in particular to suspicious payments between 2011 and 2019 for road transport in areas controlled by the Islamic State organization, suspected of having ended up in the pockets of the jihadist group when it controlled part of Iraqi territory.

    "Ericsson has repeatedly failed to cooperate fully and has failed to disclose evidence and allegations of misconduct in violation of the 2019 agreement," the U.S. Justice said in a statement.

    "Companies should be aware that we will closely scrutinize their compliance with all terms of the corporate resolution agreements and that there will be serious consequences for those who fail to comply," it added.

    The judicial resolution in the United States "is a stark reminder of the historical misconduct that led to the DPA. We have learned the lessons and are engaged in an important process to transform our culture," Ericsson's boss, Börje Ekholm, said in a statement.

    The group had announced Tuesday the departure of its head of ethics and compliance, Laurie Waddy, without mentioning the Iraqi case.

    Mr. Ekholm had previously admitted that some of his employees may indeed have paid bribes. Ericsson had already acknowledged "unacceptable behaviour" and assured that it had doubled its efforts against the risk of corruption.

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    avatar Melissa Walehiane

    Melissa Walehiane

    Content writer at Didomi