Amsterdam-based Vimplecom, a global telecommunication services provider, announced today that it has set aside USD$900 million in connection with an ongoing bribery investigation.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Dutch Public Prosecution Service are conducting investigations relating primarily to VimpelCom’s business in Uzbekistan and prior dealings with Takilant, a Gibraltar-based company. Vimplecom allegedly paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, to enter the Uzbekistan market.
In a Form 6-K filed with the SEC in March 2014, Vimplecom said that its Amersterdam headquarters were raided by the Dutch public prosecutor office. It also disclosed that it was being investigated by the SEC and Justice Department for its operations in Uzbekistan.
Vimplecom announced in February 2015 that it has been exploring resolution of potential liabilities, and that it continues to cooperate with the authorities.
“The discussions with the authorities are ongoing and, until concluded, there can be no certainty as to the final cost to the company of any such resolution or the nature, likelihood or timing of a definitive resolution,” Vimplecom said in a statement today. “At this time, the company will make no further comments on the ongoing discussions.”