HP caught up in Russian bribery scandal

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HP caught up in Russian bribery scandal

Russian authorities have raided HP's Moscow office looking for evidence in a multi-million euro bribery investigation, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The raid is part of an investigation led by German prosecutors into whether HP paid €8m ($11.6m) in bribes to secure a €35m ($50.9m) contract, said the report, citing people familiar with the matter.

The deal dates back to August 2003 and was struck to provide the Russian prosecutor general's office with a "state-of-the-art computer system" sold through a German subsidiary, the report alleged.

The system was designed to provide secure communications for prosecutors throughout Russia.

"This is an investigation of alleged conduct that occurred almost seven years ago, largely by employees no longer with HP," read an HP statement on the matter.

"We are co-operating fully with the German and Russian authorities, and will continue to conduct our own internal investigation."

German authorities are looking into whether HP executives funnelled bribes through a network of shell companies and offshore accounts.

HP reportedly learned of the investigation in December when German and Swiss authorities served the company with search warrants that named 10 suspects in the case.

HP said it had no further comment on the matter.

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