TeliaSonera Says Swedish Prosecutors Open Uzbekistan Bribe Probe
TeliaSonera AB (TLSN), the phone carrier that operates in 17 countries, said Swedish police have collected information from its offices as authorities open a probe into allegations of bribes in Uzbekistan.
TeliaSonera, whose largest shareholder is the Swedish government with a 37.3 percent stake, said the anti-corruption unit of the Swedish Prosecuting Authorities has started an investigation after a television report alleging bribes and money laundering in Uzbekistan.
“We welcome” the probe, the Stockholm-based company said in a statement on its website today. “TeliaSonera will cooperate fully with the investigation.”
The operator has faced a backlash from Swedish media after state-run television channel SVT on Sept. 19 alleged TeliaSonera’s payments of 2.2 billion kronor ($332 million) for telecom licenses in Uzbekistan to a Gibraltar-based company constituted a bribe. Chief Executive Officer Lars Nyberg denied the allegations and said the company has started its own investigation into the matter.
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