Amsterdam-based telecoms company VimpelCom has agreed to pay $835m to settle Dutch and US charges that it paid huge bribes to enter the Uzbekistan telecommunications market.
The Russian-owned company is based in Amsterdam’s Zuidas business district and the deal is thought to be the biggest ever struck by the Dutch prosecution department. The payment to the Dutch authorities amounts to $397m.
In total, VimpelCom paid over $114m in bribes to government officials, the public prosecution department said in a statement. The bribes were paid to enter the Uzbek telecom market in 2006 and in connection with obtaining telecommunication licenses for 3G and LTE frequencies.
‘Vimpelcom benefits from the favourable business climate in the Netherlands. The company must adhere to Dutch laws and regulations, also when trading abroad,’ the department said.
In addition, the department is conducting a criminal investigation into several individuals, one of whom has Dutch nationality. He was arrested in November and taken into custody, the department said, but released no further details.
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