The following is an excerpt from Nivedita Bhattacharjee | April 22, 2012 | Yahoo.com |
(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer, squelched an internal investigation into allegations of bribery at its Mexican subsidiary instead of broadening the probe, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
The Times said that in September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an e-mail from Sergio Cicero Zapata, a former executive at the company’s largest foreign unit, Wal-Mart de Mexico, describing how the subsidiary had paid bribes to obtain permits to build stores in the country.
Wal-Mart sent investigators to Mexico City and found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million, but the company’s leaders then shut down the investigation and notified neither U.S. nor Mexican law enforcement officials, the Times reported.
According to the Times, current Wal-Mart Chief Executive Mike Duke and former CEO Lee Scott, who now sits on the company’s board, were among senior executives allegedly aware of the situation.
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