Bombardier employee arrested in Swedish bribery investigation

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By Johan Sennero and Daniel Dickson | STOCKHOLM

STOCKHOLM Swedish prosecutors said on Friday
they had arrested an employee of Canadian aircraft and train
maker Bombardier on suspicion of bribing Azerbaijani
officials in a 2013 rail equipment procurement deal.

Prosecutors said a 37-year-old Russian man had been arrested
on suspicion of bribery and that several Bombardier employees
were suspected of colluding with Azerbaijani officials.

“He denies the accusation,” Cristina Bergner, the man’s
lawyer, told Reuters. She declined to give any further comment.

Prosecutors said they had obtained evidence in the form of emails after a raid at Bombardier in Sweden last October.

“Despite the fact that Bombardier was in fifth place in
terms of price, they won the 2013 tender when competitors that
had offered a better price were disqualified by the rail
authority in Azerbaijan,” prosecutors said in a statement.

A Bombardier spokeswoman confirmed an employee had been
questioned by police, but declined to give further comment.

“We will cooperate fully with the authorities,” Barbara
Grimm, Bombardier’s head of communication for Railway Control
Solutions, said.

Prosecutor Thomas Forsberg told Reuters the contract in
question was worth $340 million.

He said one of the rail authority employee’s private
business became a contracting partner that was offering the
tender in a consortium with Bombardier. This Azerbijani company
won contracts worth at least $56 million.

A shell company had also bought products for $20 million and
then sold them back to the consortium for $104 million, Forsberg

Speaking in Texas, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
said on Friday his government expects Canadian companies to
uphold “the highest standards of ethical behaviour”.

In Feburary, Canada’s Liberal government announced C$372.5
million in repayable loans for two Bombardier jet programs in
the Montreal-headquartered company’s aerospace division.

“I think it’s very clear that this was an entirely separate
issue from where we’ll be investing in Canada, in the
investments Bombardier is making in Canadian aerospace,” Trudeau

In Montreal, a spokesman for Canada’s second largest pension
fund, the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, which owns a
30 percent stake in Bombardier’s transportation division,
declined to comment on Friday. (Additional reporting by Olof Swahnberg and Simon Johnson in
Stockholm, Allison Lampert in Montreal and Anna Mehler Paperny
in Toronto)

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