Four former Ericsson employees were charged with bribing officials in Djibouti during an ongoing legal case in Sweden, as the fall-out from the vendor’s historical corruption scandal continued.
Swedish police stated the accused were suspected of paying sums totalling more than $2 million to public officials in Djibouti during 2011 and 2012. Payments were said to have been 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.
“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”.
News from Sweden’s prosecutors come weeks after Ericsson agreed to pay €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”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back