Berlin, March 10: Swedish bus and truck maker Scania paid bribes to win bus contracts in India between 2013 and 2016, an investigation by three media outlets, including Swedish news channel SVT, has found. The investigation, conducted by SVT, German broadcaster ZDF and India’s Confluence Media, also found that the bribes were also paid to an unnamed Indian minister. Volkswagen Sold 9.3 Million Cars in Pandemic Year, Down 15 Per Cent.
Speaking to news agency Reuters, a spokesperson of Scania confirmed that an internal investigation, which started in 2017, unearthed misconduct on parts of employees including senior management. "This misconduct included alleged bribery, bribery through business partners and misrepresentation," the spokesperson was quoted as saying. India Ranks 77 in Global Bribery Risk Matrix 2020.
Scania CEO Henrik Henriksson told SVT that those involved in the misconduct had left the company and all involved business partners had their contracts cancelled. "We may have been a bit naive, but we really went for it... we really wanted to make it in India but underestimated the risks," he said. Scania, , a unit under Volkswagen AG’s commercial vehicle arm Traton SE, started operations in India in 2007.
A manufacturing unit was set up in India in 2011. However, after the bribe issue came up, the unit had been shut and the company had stopped selling city buses on the Indian market, Reuters reported. Scania is unlikely to file a case, the spokesperson said.
"While the evidence is sufficient to prove breaches in compliance with Scania’s own business codes so that the company can take severe action accordingly, the evidence is not strong enough to lead to prosecution," the spokesperson added.