Investigative Committee starts checking Israeli pharmacists in Russia
Investigators began to collect materials in the Health Ministry, which should help the US law enforcement agencies to find out whether the representatives of the Russian pharmaceutical business and government officials received bribes from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and its subsidiary Teva Russia to sign contracts favorable to the Israelis.
“The Prosecutor General's Office sent a letter to the Health Ministry, in which it was reported that the Israeli company Teva instructed the Investigative Committee to inspect materials about corruption in Russia”, said a source of the Life in the ICR.
It is to be recalled that back in last October, it was the Health Ministry that sent a letter to the ICR Main Investigative Directorate with a request to investigate the situation with the Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva and its Russian subsidiary, which the US security officials suspected of bribing officials in Russia, Mexico and Ukraine.
In the autumn, the Minister of Health told the investigators that the staff of her department was ready to provide any information on the activities of the Israeli pharmacists in Russia.
According to the Life’s source in the law enforcement bodies, the US Ministry of Justice addressed the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, asking their Russian counterparts to help find evidence of illegal activities of Teva pharmacists in Russia, under the agreement of mutual legal assistance between the two countries signed in June 17, 1999.
According to the US investigators, the representatives of the pharmaceutical business and the officials from Russia, Mexico, and Ukraine received illegal remuneration from Teva employees.
“Through bribes, Teva sought permission to sell medicines in these countries and large orders”, said the US law enforcement agencies in their request addressed to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.
At the end of December 2016, the US Justice Department said that the transnational corporation Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and its Russian division Teva LLC (Teva Russia) agreed to pay $519 million to settle the corruption charges. This figure includes a $283 million fine of US Ministry of Justice settlement and $236 million for the illegal proceeds that Teva will pay to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Teva was charged on the basis of the US law on corruption abroad (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act).
Teva LLC (Teva Russia) posted a statement on its website saying that the decision of the US Department of Justice was not related to its current operations in Russia, because it was about the past activities. The decision refers to the activities carried out in Russia in the period ending in mid-2013.
“Teva has fully cooperated with the investigation in terms of legal assistance, including the Russian law enforcement agencies”, said the official announcement of the company.