Document implicates German firm in bribe scheme

Al-Masry Al-Youm obtained portions of an investigative report on Sunday prepared by the German Attorney General’s office pertaining to a corruption scandal involving German company Ferrostaal and Egyptian officials. The report reveals how Ferrostaal, the largest manufacture of iron and steel in the world, bribed government officials in Egypt and in six other countries to allow it to gain access to local markets.

According to the report, a Ferrostaal official admitted his company had concluded an agreement with an Egyptian intermediary, by which the latter would pass along bribe money from the company to officials at a government agency involved in economic affairs. In return, the ministry was to help Ferrostaal export EU15 million worth of products to Egypt from 2002 to 2007. As part of the deal, the intermediary would become the company’s “consultant” in Egypt, taking a 4 to 5 percent commission for distribution among officials at the agency.

The Ferrostaal official described the intermediary as having “inherited from his father a number of useful connections within the agency.” The official also noted that the intermediary “was to give a portion of the bribe money to the agency director, with another portion going to officials in the agency’s purchasing department, and another to various influential officials within the agency.”

Al-Masry Al-Youm has decided not to reveal the identities of the intermediary or the Egyptian officials named in the report, pending completion of the investigation. In its decision to withhold the officials’ identities, Al-Masry Al-Youm has also taken into consideration the fact that German investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the intermediary deceived Ferrostaal and did not actually deliver the bribes to the intended officials.

Although Al-Masry Al-Youm has learned that regulatory bodies have begun collecting information about Ferrostaal’s dealings in Egypt, the Egyptian Attorney General’s office has yet to receive any formal complaints about the matter. A source within the judiciary noted that the Attorney General would immediately begin investigating the case if an official complaint was filed.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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