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Firm Says 2 Workers Took Iraqi Oil Bribes

From Associated Press

A Danish company said Friday that two of its employees had accepted bribes from Iraqi officials under the United Nations’ tainted oil-for-food program.

In a statement on its corporate website, the Grundfos Group, which manufactures pumps, said the two cases of bribery came to light during an internal investigation.

Chief Executive Jens Joergen Madsen said in the statement that the firm was cooperating with the U.N. to investigate the matter.

Grundfos did not say how much the bribes were or provide other details, except to say that the incidents were connected to orders in the 2001-02 period.

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The oil-for-food program was meant to help Iraqi citizens cope with U.N. sanctions imposed after Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Under the program, Hussein’s regime could sell oil, provided the proceeds went to buy humanitarian goods or pay war reparations.

A U.N.-backed investigation has found evidence that about half the 4,500 companies that took part paid kickbacks or illegal surcharges, a participant in the inquiry said recently.


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