Gazprom employees under investigation

Gazprom's Bovanenkovo gas field on the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia Keystone

Switzerland’s federal prosecutor has opened a corruption case against four people with ties to Russian energy giant Gazprom. They are suspected of forgery, money laundering and bribery.

This content was published on September 2, 2014 - 08:40 and agencies

As the Federal Prosecutor’s Office confirmed on Monday evening, final preparations for the indictments are underway. They involve a retired as well as an active Gazprom manager, as well as two Russian suspects who allegedly set up a bribe system under industry leaders ABB, Alstom and Siemens – sending millions of dollars to the Gazprom managers in question.

The case, originally reported in the Tages-Anzeiger and Bund newspapers, is expected to bring charges by the end of the year.

According to the newspapers, one of the suspects was a Gazprom manager from 1991 until his retirement in 2008. The second manager still holds a high position there.

As part of its investigation, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office has taken a closer look at a gas pipeline leading from the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia to Germany. It is alleged that bribes flowed from the Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery (SIT) company  – who supplied the gas turbines – to senior employees of the Russian state company,

The alleged bribes were paid between 2004 and 2006 and ended up in the bank accounts of both Gazprom managers in Switzerland. The investigation against Siemens was settled after Siemens admitted its fault and SIT turned over its gains of $10.6 million (CHF9.8 million).

Before it belonged to Siemens, SIT was part of the Swiss-Swedish ABB Group. Later, the company was taken over by the French Alstom and finally to German Siemens. As the newspapers reported, the corruption structures have survived all these changes of ownership.

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