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Russian telecom to pay €716 million settlement to Netherlands, U.S.
Russian telecom company Vimpelcom, one of the largest telecom companies in the world, is paying a 716 million euro settlement to the Netherlands and United States. This is to avoid criminal prosecution for bribery. Half of the settlement is coming to the Netherlands, because Vimpelcom has headquarters in Amsterdam, the Financieele Dagblad reports. Vimpelcom is suspected of bribery and forgery in the period between 2006 and 2012. The company bribed its way into the Uzbekistan market, paying 114.5 million dollars to Uzbek officials and another 30 million dollars to charity organizations, some of which were affiliated with Uzbek government officials. A criminal investigation into the company was launched in 2013. Vimpelcom is one of three telecom companies in a massive bribery case. The other two are the Swedish-Finish Telia Sonera and also Russian Mobile TeleSystems. According to FD, Dutch financial service providers ING, the former Fortis, Amsterdam Trade Bank and a Dutch office of Svenska Handelsbanken, played a roll in each of these cases. The Dutch parties are not being held culpable in any of the so far published legal documents.