Walmart accused of paying bribes for profit worldwide
Mumbai : Global supermarket Walmart is being accused of bribing officials in different countries to fetch profit. Inside Walmart’s corporate offices in Brazil, one local contact was known as the “sorceress” for the ability to obtain government permits quickly.
In India, concerns about bribery were met with a “wink and a nod” by Walmart’s local business partner. In China, money was funneled to a local landlord for “government relationship consulting services.” And in Mexico, cars and computers were donated to governments in communities where Walmart was planning to build new stores.
According to a report by Business Standard, for over a decade, the Walmart had been using a middleman to make dubious payments to governments across the globe in order to open new locations, United States prosecutors and securities regulators said in a settlement agreement on Thursday.
That lack of internal controlled to a seven-year inquiry that culminated on Thursday with Walmart’s Brazilian subsidiary pleading guilty to a federal crime.
The guilty plea, and the $282 million in fines that Walmart has agreed to pay, capped one of the biggest investigations ever under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for American corporations to bribe overseas officials.
“Walmart profited from rapid international expansion, but in doing so chose not to take necessary steps to avoid corruption,” Brian A. Benczkowski, an assistant attorney general, said in a statement.