Inside the Siemens Bribery Scandal

How international prosecutors dug up suspicious payments
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2007 8:40 AM CST
Exterior view of a building of the German Siemens company in Munich, southern Germany, July 26, 2006. Siemens AG, one of Europe's biggest conglomerates, said Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007, it has created...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – 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.