BUSINESS

Bombardier Sweden Employee To Be Charged With Bribery

Several Bombardier employees are suspected of colluding with Azerbaijani officials in a 2013 rail equipment deal.

08/18/2017 09:52 EDT | Updated 08/18/2017 10:06 EDT
Christinne Muschi / Reuters
Bombardier Inc.'s Alain Bellemare, president and chief executive officer, arrives for the annual general meeting in Montreal, Quebec, Canada May 11, 2017. Swedish prosecutors said on Friday they would charge an employee of Canadian aircraft and train maker Bombardier on suspicion that he and several others at the company had bribed an Azerbaijani official.

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish prosecutors said on Friday they would charge an employee of Canadian aircraft and train maker Bombardier on suspicion that he and several others at the company had bribed an Azerbaijani official to secure a contract worth around $340 million.

Prosecutors in March said a 37-year-old Russian man had been arrested on suspicion of bribery and that several Bombardier employees were suspected of colluding with Azerbaijani officials in a 2013 rail equipment deal.

The Prosecutors said they had obtained evidence in the form of emails after a raid of Bombardier's operations in Sweden last October.

"He still denies the accusation," Cristina Bergner, the unnamed arrested man's lawyer, said on Friday, declining further comment.

Benoit Tessier / Reuters
A new regional transport train is seen under construction at the Bombardier plant in Crespin, near Valenciennes, northern France, October 17, 2016.

Barbara Grimm, Bombardier's head of communication for Railway Control Solutions, wrote in an email to Reuters: "We take these allegations very seriously as they assert conduct that does not reflect our values or the high standards we set for ourselves, our employees and our partners."

Grimm said Bombardier would support an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the project, but had no further comment as legal proceedings were ongoing.

In their March statement, the Swedish prosecutors said Bombardier had won the tender in question after competitors who had offered better prices were disqualified by Azerbaijan's rail authority.

(Reporting by Olof Swahnberg and Helena Soderpalm; Editing by Susan Thomas and David Holmes)

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