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Corruption probe

June 10, 2011

German police are investigating an alleged corruption bid by employees at engineering giant Siemens. Three company managers in Kuwait are accused of trying to buy contracts.

The Siemens logo outside a building
The company has made efforts to prevent corruptionImage: dapd

A spokeswoman for the Munich prosecutor's office confirmed on Friday that an investigation had been launched after it received a tip-off from Siemens' own anti-corruption division.

"Arrest warrants have been issued and arrests made," the spokeswoman said, adding that several people were under investigation.

Siemens on Friday confirmed a report by the newspaper Financial Times Deutschland about the alleged corruption by three company managers working in Kuwait.

The Kuwait towers
The payments were allegedly made by employees in KuwaitImage: picture-alliance / dpa

"We informed authorities and acted against the employees very quickly," a spokesman said. The three individuals are believed to be no longer working for the company.

Alleged payment to intermediary

The managers are alleged to have made payments to high-ranking individuals in the Gulf state's Energy and Water Ministry. The company received several contracts during 2010 from the Kuwaiti government, which is investing heavily in the development of its electricity grid.

The German news magazine Spiegel reported that the intermediary of a Kuwaiti politician had asked for a payment of 1.25 million euros ($1.8 million).

Spiegel said the aim was to influence the awarding of a contract worth some 180 million euros, for which a Japanese rival was also competing.

Siemens, whose operations range from light bulb and mobile telephone manufacture to nuclear power stations, has made an effort to clean up its image since a corruption scandal came to light in 2006.

That case involved executives, who were alleged to have operated a 1.3-billion-euro fund to help win contracts.

Author: Richard Connor (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Nicole Goebel