March 24th, 2010
08:37 AM ET

Carmaker accused of paying bribes

The U.S. Justice Department has accused Daimler, the German carmaker, of paying bribes to officials of foreign governments.

The department said in a court filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that the carmaker made hundreds of improper payments worth tens of millions of dollars to foreign officials in at least 22 countries between 1998 and January 2008.
"In some cases, Daimler wired these improper payments to U.S. bank accounts or to the foreign bank accounts of U.S. shell companies in order to transit the bribe," the department said.

The countries include China, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Nigeria, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and others.

Daimler declined to comment, and the Justice Department also declined to comment beyond the information contained in the court documents.

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  1. Bill

    So? Just because the US passed a law doesnt mean a foreign company has to abide by it when dealing with a COMPLETELY different country. Why should the US care if a german company bribed an egyptian government official???

    March 24, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. EddieInRI

    @Bill –
    "'In some cases, Daimler wired these improper payments to U.S. bank accounts or to the foreign bank accounts of U.S. shell companies in order to transit the bribe,' the department said."

    That's why.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. rick

    a bribe is considered deceitful, uneithical, and a greedy crime, no matter where you live in the world. it betrays common decency!!!

    March 24, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. Charls

    Quote: So? Just because the US passed a law doesnt mean a foreign company has to abide by it when dealing with a COMPLETELY different country. Why should the US care if a german company bribed an egyptian government official???
    Unquote
    Because the US manufactirers cannot do the same (albeith wish) for fear of being caught

    March 24, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. will42

    It would be interesting to know what makes them say "bribe"

    I agree with EddieInRI, the reason it touches our radar is because US banks are involved, but I'm just curious how the whole 'improper' determination happens.
    Let's say I'm a gas station owner in Dubai, and I notice that Mercs in a light colour scheme with a dark interior & kick-ass sound system are more popular, and I get a 'reward' for this info from Daimler. What's wrong with that ?

    It would be nice to have a bit more info in the article instead of just 'bribe' and 'Daimler'

    Will

    March 24, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Saamer

    I just hope they name the officials in those countries.

    March 25, 2010 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. Texan

    a bribe is considered deceitful, uneithical, and a greedy crime, no matter where you live in the world. it betrays common decency!!!: rick Common decency?? That lets out this country, there is nothing decent about it any longer, just read the articles! Especially read the ones about Israel and the US talks behind closed door. Read about Americans will be fined and possibly jailed over that stupid damn insurance BS. I agree there has been deceit and corruption in this countrty, a lot of it, starting with the Kremlin US government and working it's way down to other to terrorize the people.

    Decency, that word no longer has a meaning.

    March 25, 2010 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. mark0

    I know that paying and receiving bribes in many third world countries is a standard practice but if it is illegal internationally then the recepients identity should be disclosed particulary if they are heads of states or their families!!

    We need a clean way of doing business in the world...

    March 25, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |