Daimler Execs Allege Bribes, Magazine Says

From Times Wire Services

DaimlerChrysler executives told corruption investigators that the carmaker routinely paid kickbacks to sell vehicles to Nigeria at inflated prices for years, German magazine Stern reported.

The journal also said in a report released ahead of publication that two DaimlerChrysler managers said slush funds used for foreign bribes were kept off the books, which could imply underpayment of taxes.

DaimlerChrysler declined to comment.

"Company insiders have given the [Securities and Exchange Commission] indications that vehicles were sold to the Nigerian government for years at twice the list price.... Part of the surcharge went to middlemen of the Nigerian government," Stern reported.

The SEC could impose heavy fines or even bar trading of DaimlerChrysler's stock on U.S. exchanges should the allegations be confirmed.

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