French company with SA links bust for bribes

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A French engineering company with links to the South African energy industry has been fined by the World Bank for paying bribes in Africa, it was reported on Friday.

The Mail and Guardian said the Alstom Corporation was fined US9.5million by the bank, and two of its subsidiaries were blacklisted for bribing a senior Zambian government official.

The World Bank probe into the bribe payments was led by former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy.

According to the newspaper, this is not the first time the company has been bust for paying bribes. Last year, it was fined by Swiss authorities for paying bribes in Latvia, Malaysia and Tunisia.

An Alstom subsidiary provided services for the Koeberg nuclear power plant, and was likely to play a role in the development of new nuclear plants in the country.

The investigation by the Mail and Guardian found that Alstom won the multi-billion-rand turbine contracts for new coal power stations in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

Alstom companies are expected to tender for work on six new power stations in South Africa.

A spokesman for Alstom declined to comment to the Mail and Guardian.

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