In one of the world's largest corporate bribery scandals in recent years, German industrial giant Siemens allegedly channeled millions of euros in bribes to customers in Nigeria, Russia, Libya, and other countries to win infrastructure contracts. The Wall Street Journal traces the unearthing of the Siemens case across four years of investigations in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Germany.
After Liechtenstein rolled back banking privacy laws post-9/11, a flurry of transfers to and from offshore firms controlled by Siemens execs caught auditors' attention in 2003. The scandal ballooned as Liechtenstein froze €7.6M in Siemens assets and German police raided Siemens offices. Siemens has flagged €1.3B in suspicious transactions made from 2000 to 2006.