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ABB, the Swiss-Swedish conglomerate, is under investigation for alleged bribery by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office in relation to the ongoing criminal probe into Unaoil, the Monaco-based oil company.
The SFO confirmed in a short statement on Friday that it had launched an investigation into ABB’s UK units, “their officers, employees and agents for suspected offences of bribery and corruption.”
“This investigation is related to the SFO’s ongoing investigation into the activities of Unaoil,” the SFO added in its statement.
ABB said in a statement that it had reported matters to the SFO, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice “concerning certain of its past dealings with Unaoil and its subsidiaries, including alleged improper payments made by these entities to third parties.”
It added it was cooperating with the SFO and “takes a zero-tolerance approach to financial improprieties.”
The SFO’s Unaoil probe launched last March after a series of reports from Australian newspaper The Age. It reported that Unaoil was used by a number of companies in securing contracts around the world, including by ABB in Iran.