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US lawmakers release Walmart bribery papers

Press Trust Of India  |  New York 

US lawmakers have released emails that show Walmart's top leadership was aware of allegations of bribery in its Mexico operations as early as 2005 but the global retail giant said it has provided this information to law enforcement authorities as part of investigation into the bribery allegations.

Congressman of Maryland and from California, who are investigating bribery charges at Walmart's Mexico unit, announced yesterday they had documents which confirmed that CEO and other high-ranking personnel were personally informed about the bribery allegations as early as October 2005, according to a CNN report.

is also facing allegations of bribery in its operations in India, China and Brazil and the retailer had said last November that it was broadening its investigation to look into these allegations.

The emails indicate that CEO Mike Duke and other top company officials had been informed as early as 2005 about bribes being made in the Mexico.

“It would be a serious matter if the CEO of one of our nation's largest failed to address allegations of a bribery scheme,” Waxman and Cummings said in a letter written to Duke.

The company refuted claims made by the Congressmen saying that the information released in the emails was nothing new and had been provided by to the investigating authorities.

“There is no new information in the letter released on Friday by Congressman Waxman and Congressman Cummings. This information has been part of the company's ongoing investigation of potential violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for more than a year and has been the subject of two articles,” the retailer said in a statement.

It added that the “letter from Congressmen Waxman and Cummings leaves the wrong impression that our public statements are contradicted by the information they released on Friday.

“The fact is, the chronology of events relied upon in their letter is inaccurate. The company statement referenced in their letter that appeared in the December 2012 story focused on events in 2004. The emails attached to the letter were sent almost a year later.”

The allegations of bribery were first reported by the last year.

First Published: Sat, January 12 2013. 00:28 IST