Four ex-Ericsson staff charged for bribing officials in Djibouti to win contracts

Four former Ericsson employees have been for bribing officials in Djibouti during an ongoing legal case in Sweden, according to media reports.

Mobile World Live, a online publication of the GSM Association, reports that police in Sweden stated that the accused were suspected of paying sums totalling more than $2 million to public officials in Djibouti during 2011 and 2012. The said payments were reportedly made through a third party in attempts to win contracts.

The police branded the bribes as being made to “officials of an authoritarian regime that is regularly accused of human rights violations”.

“As a company, Ericsson has previously been prosecuted in the US for, among other things, the crime that individuals have now been prosecuted [for] in Sweden,” the police added, according to the article published today.

“While the American prosecution focused on the company, the Swedish investigation has focused on investigating whether and, if so, which…persons have criminal liability for what happened”.

The corruption case in Sweden comes weeks after Ericsson agreed to pay a €80 million ($97.6 million) to Nokia to following a damages claim related to the corruption charges brought by US authorities in 2019. Settling cases from the US Department of Justice and the country’s stock market regulator cost Ericsson $1.06 billion.

Charges brought in the US included falsifying records and paying bribes in a campaign spanning 17 years across several countries including Djibouti, Vietnam and China. After the close of the US case, Sweden began its own investigation.

Ericsson has since updated its internal ethics and compliance programmes in addition to conducting its own investigation.

Following its initial assessment in 2019, CEO Borje Ekholm said the company uncovered “several deficiencies, including a failure to react to red flags and inadequate internal controls”.


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