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World Bank debars German manufacturer for fraud, collusion, and corruption

The World Bank debarred a German water maintenance equipment manufacturer Wednesday for 30 months for fraud, collusion, and corruption involving a project in Myanmar.

Haren-based Berky GmbH and five subsidiaries are ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects during the 30-month debarment.

The $100 million project, fully funded by the World Bank, was designed to improve management and development of the Ayeyarwady River Basin and national water resources in Myanmar.

Berky provided a trip to Europe for three officials from the project management unit to improperly influence their acceptance of the equipment provided under the contract, which is a corrupt practice, the World Bank said.

The German company submitted a second bid using its subsidiary’s brand name, in order to increase the company’s chances of benefiting from the contract, which is a collusive practice.

Berky also failed to disclose commissions paid to a local Myanmar agent in its initial bid and in a later amendment to the contract, which is a fraudulent practice, the World Bank said.

Berky GmbH was founded in 1964 and currently has 85 employees, according to its website. The company makes equipment used to clear and maintain ditches, trenches, and other waterways.

The World Bank said the settlement took into account Berky’s “extraordinary cooperation and voluntary remedial actions.”

As a condition of the settlement, Berky agreed to develop an integrity compliance program and cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency.

The debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

So far in 2020, the World Bank has debarred 219 entities and individuals.

A list of all World Bank debarred entities and individuals is here.

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