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Global Contagion Report: TeliaSonera

Country: Sweden

Companies: TeliaSonera

Individuals : Per-Arne Blomquist, former head of TeliaSonera Eurasia region, Tero Kivasaari, former TeliaSonera CEO Lars Nyberg, daughter of Uzbek president Islam Karimov, Gulnara Islomovna Karimova

Industry: Technology

Subsector: Telecommunications Equipment

Enforcement: Investigation

TeliaSonera is under investigation for allegedly paying more than $300 million in bribes to Gayane Avakyana, a middleman for Gulnara Islomovna Karimova to win access to the Uzbek telecom market in 2007. Karimova is the eldest daughter of the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov.

Swedish prosecutors have opened an ‘aggravated bribery’ case against several TeliaSonera employees to find out whether TeliaSonera knew, or should have known, when it bought the license from Takilant Ltd. that the money went to President Islam Karimov’s family. 

TeliaSonera has previously acknowledged paying $350 million for 3G licenses to operate in Uzbekistan to Takilant Limited., a front company owned by Gulnara, but denied any wrongdoing.

Documents revealed by a whistle-blower refered to TeliaSonera’s promise that it will pay a one-off fee of $5 million in exchange for 2 million new mobile-phone subscribers.

Telia Sonera removed its Chief Financial Officer, Per-Arne Blomquist and former head of the Eurasia Division, Tero Kivasaari, while Lars Nyberg resigned as CEO on Feb 1.

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Research provided by the ethiXbase GRC Database.

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