Telecom bohemoth Telia pays $1 Billion to end S.E.C. and D.O.J. bribe probe on bribes paid to officials in Uzbekistan

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Swedish telecom giant Telia will pay nearly $1 billion in penalties  settle a United States Department of Justice probe on bribes paid in Uzbekistan. U.S. prosecutors described the Uzbek government official who received the bribes as “a close relative of a high-ranking government official and who exercised influence over Uzbek telecommunications industry regulators.” U.S. authorities charged that Telia, its Uzbek subsidiary,  had conspired to pay an Uzbek government official more than $330 million in bribes in exchange for help in expanding into Uzbekistan’s telecommunications market, one of the largest in Central Asia.

That official is widely known to be Gulnara Karimova, whose father ruled Uzbekistan for a quarter-century until his death in 2016.

In a similar Uzbekistan bribe case,  VimpelCom admitted in February 2016 to having paid more than $114 million in bribes to a high-ranking Uzbekistan official, and agreed to pay $795 million in penalties to resolve related U.S. and Dutch probes.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers including whistleblowers who reveal foreign bribes relating to companies in Eastern Europe and in Russia which violates the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the False Claims Act allowing individuals, including those living outside the U.S. to become whistleblowers here.