Telia and Uzbek subsidiary to pay the a billion USD for FCPA violations
The Sweden-based telecommunications provider Telia Company AB and its Uzbek subsidiary, Coscom, will pay $965 million in total penalties in a global settlement to resolve corruption charges arising out of a scheme to win business in Uzbekistan. The agreement brings an end to an 'unfortunate chapter' in the company's history.
The bribery accusations first surfaced in 2012, when Swiss authorities started a corruption probe. Later U.S. and European authorities joined the investigation. U.S. and Dutch authorities had asked last year for $1.4 billion in penalties from Telia. Telia is the second company to settle with U.S. authorities in the investigation.
High revenue generation potential, and a complex governance structure
Norwegian telecom giant Telenor was allegedly also involved in a corruption scandal in Uzbekistan with ties to the President's daughter. Vimpelcom, an Uzbek firm partially owned by Telenor, paid $25 million in bribes to obtain telecom licenses in the Central Asian nation.
The bribes were paid so that the Nordic Tele giants could enter the market and the subsidiary could gain telecom assets and continue operating in the country with concealed and structured the bribes through various payments, including to a shell company controlled by dubious third parties.
The US fines are because the securities of the tele giants are traded on US exchanges, and US banks were used to move ill-gotten money.
Due to the high revenue generation potential, and the complex technical and governance structure the 'recently' liberalized telecommunications industry is particularly vulnerable to corruption. In many countries the determination of fair prices and the setting of public interest-oriented regulations are complicated to achieve. This means that policies and regulatory actions that have been corrupted by special interests are often difficult to identify.
A clear, unambiguous and consistent message from the top
Both companies have zero tolerance for corruption, and both claim to have clean operations and business ethics even though the fine is one of the most significant criminal corporate bribery and corruption resolutions ever.
Both companies continue to establish a more sustainable business with a strong focus on governance and compliance. Apparently, zero tolerance on bribery is a never-ending journey even tough Nordic companies have a reputation for being clean as it is embedded in the Nordic corporate culture.
The Board and senior management must send a clear, unambiguous and regular message to all staff and business partners that corruption and bribery are unacceptable. Some of the keynote dialogues at the 11th annual European GRC and IT-Security summit in London that can help companies in their anti-bribery, fraud and corruption commitments and the top-level commitment for establishing a transparent and enterprise-wide culture which works against corruption.
After the conference there can be no excuses for the Ethics and Sustainability Committee's to fulfill its responsibilities with respect to ethics, intergity and anti-corruption. The keynote speches from global experts from various trades and functions are;
HOW TO EMBED AND INTEGRATE VALUES, CULTURE AND BEHAVIOUR TO HR, INTERNAL AUDIT, ETHICS, COMPLIANCE, AND RISK FUNCTIONS TO ALIGN VALUES AND INCENTIVES
Patrice Bloch, is a special advisor to several Boards, Chairman & CEO
THE UPDATED GOVERNANCE MECHANISM OF ETHICS AND INTEGRITY AS A SUSTAINABLE VALUE PROPOSITION TO BOOST BUSINESS AND PROCESS ENHANCEMENTS
Javid Cante, Group Financial Controller, CLS Group, BCom, MBA, ACA, MCSI
INTEGRATING AN EFFECTIVE CULTURE OF TRANSPARENCY IN THE ORGANISATION
Murray Grainger, Managing Director, Impact on Integrity
DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA; COMPLIANCE WITH REGULATORS, SUPPLIERS, AND THIRD PARTIES
Luka Lu, LLM, Capital Associates, PRC Lawyers
ENFORCEMENT TRENDS & REVIEW OF CURRENT
UKBA AND FCPA CASES; VOLKSWAGEN, FIFA, PETROBRAS, 1MDB, TOSHIBA
Barry Vitou, Head of Corporate Crime, Investigations & Enforcement, Pinsent Masons LLP
HOW TO ESTABLISH THE RIGHT GOVERNANCE OVERSIGHT STRUCTURE TO ADDRESS CORPORATE CRISIS
David Doughty, Chartered Director, Chief Executive, Chairman, Non-Executive Director