Russian branch of Deutsche Bahn’s subsidiary fined €2 million for bribes to St. Petersburg customs officers

Russian branch of Deutsche Bahn’s subsidiary fined €2 million for bribes to St. Petersburg customs officers

The company was fined in Germany. Russian side claims to know nothing about bribes in the North Western Customs Directorate. The Prosecutor's Office of Cologne will send official request to the Russian authorities for legal assistance on the Case of Ford. ⁠

The Russian branch of logistic corporation Schenker will pay a penalty in the amount of 2 million euros under the case of bribery. The Prosecutor's Office of Cologne, which initiated proceedings, explained that added 300 thousand euros to the determined sum of bribes (1,7 million euros).

As the Prosecutor's Office reported to German media, the Schenker company agreed with accusation and expressed readiness to pay the imposed penalty. The investigation against it was terminated. However, it is possible that the penalty will also be imposed on the Ford company, against two employees of which in August 2015, a case on bribery was also initiated.

To recall, the subsidiary company of the German railway operator Deutsche Bahn has been delivering automobile spare parts to the Ford plant in Vsevolzhsk for a long time through irs Russian subsidiary. Now the contract between Schenker and Ford expired.

Investigative actions concerning Schenker began in 2013. The russian branch of the company was accused under Art. 334 of the Criminal Code of Germany “On Bribing of Officials”.

The Cologne Prosecutor's Office has a data telling that the system of unofficial payments to the Russian customs officers has worked since 2004.

According to the investigation, the staff of the Russian representative office of Schenker bribed customs officers in the St. Petersburg port to accelerate registration of freights.

Staff of the Prosecutor's Office of Cologne interrogated suspects in connection with transfer of auto parts of several managers of Schenker - two representatives of Ford, and also one employee of the Russian company, who, according to the investigation, mediated in this scheme.

Representative of the Prosecutor's Office of Cologne Daniel Vollmert claimed that Russian law enforcement authorities were familiar with the investigation, which has lasted for several years.

However, as RNS reports, according to the Head of the North Western Customs Directorate Alexander Getman, “check of the North Western Customs Directorate (NWCD) revealed no violations of officials, including corruption, in this case”.

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Photo: the Head of the North Western Customs Directorate Alexander Getman

Daniel Vollmert is sure that decisive proofs are in the territory of Russia - witnesses and some suspects live in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Their refusal to arrive to hearings in Germany negatively influences investigation.

In the nearest future the Prosecutor's Office of Cologne intends to send to Russian authorities an official request for a legal assistance in the Case of Ford, the representative of the German Prosecutor's Office noted. 

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