Norway’s Kongsberg Gruppen charged with corruption over Romania deals

Norwegian conglomerate Kongsberg Gruppen has been charged with corruption related to the delivery of communications equipment to Romania from 1999 up to 2008.

In response to the charges by the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (ØKOKRIM), the company said: “Kongsberg was informed about the charge today, and the chairman has been briefed. […] (The company) will cooperate closely with Økokrim and other relevant authorities to clarify all the facts in relation to the charges.”

The company said the corruption charges were related to the delivery of communications equipment to Romania in the 1999 to 2008 period, but didn’t specify which contracts.

According to the Wall Street Journal, in the early 2000s, Kongsberg Gruppen made several deals with Romanian ministries, including the delivery of communications systems for police and border controls as well as for encrypted communications between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bucharest and Romanian diplomatic missions.

In 2002, Kongsberg Gruppen said it had entered into deals with Romanian authorities for more than 800 million kroner (USD 133 million) between 1999 and 2002. In 2006, the company said it had agreed another NOK200 million deal for communications deliveries to Romania, WSJ reported.

According to Norwegian law, the charges carry a maximum punishment of ten years in jail, and the company also risks a corporate fine.

Kongsberg Gruppen supplies high-technology systems and solutions the oil and gas industry, the merchant marine, and the defense and aerospace industries.

The company’s operating revenues grew by 4.3 percent last year to USD 2.6 billion, while it’s provisional profit after tax for 2013 was USD 196 million.

Shaun Turton [email protected]

Romania Insider
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