Bilfinger investigates bribe allegations around Brazil World Cup order

Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:23am EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters) - German engineering and services firm Bilfinger is investigating whether employees of a subsidiary paid bribes to public officials in Brazil in connection with orders related to the World Cup.

Bilfinger said in a statement on Sunday it had launched the investigation last year in connection with orders for about 6 million euros ($6.5 million) worth of large screens for security control centers in several large cities in Brazil.

It commissioned auditors Ernst & Young and Deloitte and a law office in Brazil to help clarify whether bribes were paid by employees at affiliate Mauell to public officials and employees of state companies.

"Suspicions have now been substantiated. The investigation, however, is not yet complete," Bilfinger said, adding it would take legal action should the allegations be confirmed.

Bilfinger said orders of this size are not handled by the group's executive board. A spokesman said Mauell had done no business with FIFA, the world soccer governing body.

Bilfinger issued the statement after German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that Mauell had paid bribes of more than 20 million euros to win contracts. The spokesman declined to comment on that figure.

($1 = 0.9242 euros)

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; editing by Jane Baird)

The logo of German industrial services provider Bilfinger is pictured on their headquarters in Mannheim January 21, 2013.