German steel-casting giant ThyssenKrupp is suspected of a major bribery in Kazakhstan, as well as in Uzbekistan and China, Deutsche Welle writes. Prosecutors of Essen, where the company’s head office is located, have initiated an investigation against 14 employees of the group.
An affiliated company of ThyssenKrupp, GfT Bautechnik, took part in construction of artificial islands in the Caspian Sea and supplied cutoff piling there. The story with bribes in Kazakhstan appeared after an anonymous letter was received by the company’s management, the magazine writes.
The internal investigation showed that the affiliated company, without notifying the management of ThyssenKrupp, has illegally transferred around 8 million Euro to the account of the company registered in the U.S.. The purpose and end recipients of the payments are unknown. However, the anonymous source told German newspaper WAZ, so that the money were to “push” the construction process forward.
ThyssenKrupp fired 6 employees, including a top manager of GfT Bautechnik. The fired employees do not admit their fault. According to the attorney of GfT, internal race for power caused the firings.
ThyssenKrupp has been losing millions over the last two years. Recently the group reported 5 billion Euro losses in 2011/2012, mainly because of unsuccessful investments abroad. Construction of two plants in Brazil and the U.S. cost the group almost 12 billion Euro, instead of the planned 3 billion.