Daimler Gets Russian Headaches. Without The Fun Of Vodka…

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

A few days ago the BBC reported that, officially, Russia was losing 1 trillion rubles (that’s about $32.5b to you) due to corruption. Also coming 154th on the corruption perceptions index does not help matters, either. “Gigantic sums of money are being pocketed by officials and dishonest businessmen,” said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, “Deal with them and put them in prison – there is no other way out.” So it sounds like President Medvedev is serious about dealing with corruption. He starts with a foreign company with deep pockets: Daimler. Again?

A few months ago, our resident German wrote about how Russia was sniffing around Daimler after the US Government shook down Daimler for $185m. Well, that sniffing has turned into a something more substantial. The Financial Times reports that Russian prosecutors have launched a fully.fledged criminal investigation into alleged bribery of officials by Daimler. Daimler said it would co-operate fully with the authorities.

What will make this investigation even tougher for Daimler is the fact that Daimler’s Russian unit already pleaded guilty to two counts of violating US anti-bribery laws. So now the prosecutors know that Daimler’s Russian division isn’t adverse to a spot of palm-greasing. While this investigation was greeted with cheers from anti-corruption campaigners, some remained a little more cynical. “We hope this will be a real investigation,” said Yuli Nisevich (via The Washington Post), chief researcher at the Moscow office of Transparency International, “and not an imitation of an investigation”.

How much do you think a Russian judge would cost?

Cammy Corrigan
Cammy Corrigan

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6 of 9 comments
  • AaronH AaronH on Nov 14, 2010

    "Bribing" someone is NOT an objective crime (It is free speech held up by the USA 1st amendment, BTW)...The ACTION of EXCEPTING a bribe can be a crime. The political terrorists will try to protect themselves by making the briber the criminal and the retarded public school government-worshiping runts will just go along...And at the same time wonder why there is corruption...LOL!...Duhhhh.

    • See 1 previous
    • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Nov 14, 2010

      For all it's faults, at least public school taught me the difference between "accepting" and "excepting".

  • Steven02 Steven02 on Nov 14, 2010

    It wasn't a US gov't shake down. Daimler broke US law, whether you like it or not. If Daimler also broke Russian law, they should pay for it too. I understand much of the world works off of bribes as a business practice. But if it is illegal where it is being done, companies run the risk of fines and lawsuits. No sympathy should be had for these companies.

  • Pacificpom2 Pacificpom2 on Nov 15, 2010

    Or is it a case of where Daimler said "no more bribes" and the local politicos went bananas. Nothing like having a good lobby group on your side to make sure your company's bribes are passed off as costs or 'goodwill"

  • M 1 M 1 on Nov 15, 2010

    Hypocrisy. It is ludicrous to claim they are cracking down without focusing on those who TAKE the bribes rather than those who are forced to pay them. Everything east of Austria works according to what our attorneys call "white envelope" payments. You can't get a car or container off the boat without an envelope changing hands.