The commission looking into alleged corruption in the Iraq oil-for-food programme charges that Volvo Construction Equipment (CE), a subsidiary of the giant Volvo Group of Sweden, refused to cooperate with investigators. It concludes that the Swedish company “knowingly" paid kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime in connection with a large contract for vehicles delivery.
Klas Magnussen, Head of Information at Volvo CE, comments to Development Today: “We do not understand the criticism. We have tried to answer both in writing and by telephone questions from the [Volcker] commission."
Many of the firms listed in the Volcker Report for paying kickbacks to the Saddam Hussein regime in connection with oil-for-food contracts are important suppliers to the aid community. 150 of them are registered in a database at the UN Global Marketplace which is open to all procurement staff in the UN and the World Bank.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki has formally requested the Finnish police to investigate whether Finns were involved in corruption concerning a concessional aid loan granted to Costa Rica three years ago.