Benz Bribes


My next car.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Max Klingensmith

It turns out Daimler was bribing foreign governments to get special treatment.

Daimler, which makes Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks, is said to have made payments from 1998 to 2008.

The US Justice Department has accused the company of paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes to officials of at least 22 governments.

They are alleged to include China, Russia, Egypt and Greece.

Iraq claim

The money was allegedly aimed at persuading governments to buy Daimler vehicles in deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

One accusation is that Daimler paid kickbacks to Iraqi government officials to secure deals to sell vehicles, violating the United Nations’ Oil for Food Program.

Another allegations is that Daimler gave an official in Turkmenistan an armoured car as a birthday present to encourage him to grant a contract to supply government vehicles.

American law prohibits companies which operate in the US from making improper payments to officials of other countries.

Reuters news agency says it has learned from a source close to Daimler, which has been led by chief executive Dieter Zetsche since 2006, that it is preparing to pay a fine of $185m (£121m) to the US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

via BBC News – US charges car firm Daimler with violating bribery laws.

Otherwise known as the free market. Apparently, this is how tax breaks create jobs.