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Panalpina in talks to settle bribery charges

Global forwarder,    Panalpina is in discussions with the U.S. Justice Department to settle allegations that it violated American anti-bribery laws in Nigeria, the company has said.

Panalpina began the talks last week and said the process may take several months. Since 2007, the company has conducted its own investigation, coordinated with the DOJ, into allegations that it had bribed Nigerian officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The DOJ has received updates on the company’s compliance programmes and their implementation, including the decision to close Panalpina’s Nigerian organisation and restructure its operations in West Africa.

In July 2007, the Justice Department’s criminal fraud unit made known its concerns about alleged payments to Nigerian customs agents made by Panalpina. The Securities and Exchange Commission also launched a related civil investigation.

The company lost millions in profits and spent another $15 million-plus on legal and consulting fees.

In December 2008, Nigeria-based investing group Worldwide Premier Logistics Solution took over Panalpina’s operations in the country.


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