Ericsson ‘corruption-related misconduct’ potentially funded terror

Ericsson has found evidence of “corruption-related misconduct” in its Iraq operations and cannot rule out that payments were made to terror groups, including ISIS.

The Swedish telecoms giant says that it launched an internal investigation in 2019 following unusual expense claims dating back to 2018. Ericsson says that its investigation covered the period 2011-2019 and included the conduct of its employees, vendors, and suppliers in Iraq.

In a media statement, Ericsson said the investigation “identified evidence of corruption-related misconduct” including:

  • Making a monetary donation without a clear beneficiary.
  • Paying a supplier for work without a defined scope and documentation.
  • Using suppliers to make cash payments.
  • Funding inappropriate travel and expenses.
  • Improper use of sales agents and consultants.

Ericsson says that it also found violations of the company’s internal financial controls; conflicts of interest; non-compliance with tax laws; and obstruction of the investigation.

Furthermore, the firm uncovered payment schemes and cash transactions that created the risk of money laundering and “identified payments to intermediaries and the use of alternate transport routes in connection with circumventing Iraqi Customs, at a time when terrorist organizations, including ISIS, controlled some transport routes.”

Cable Compendium: A guide to the week’s submarine and terrestrial developments.

Orange Group has revealed its participation in the SeaMeWe-6 consortium for the construction of a new express submarine cable system aiming to directly connect Marseille in France to Singapore. Orange will act as the landing party for the system in France and will host the cable in its landing site in Marseille. Jean-Luc Vuillemin, Director of International Networks at Orange, said: ‘We are delighted with our participation in this new system in order to offer a new high-speed and high-performance “express” connectivity solution between France and Asia and to support the growing needs of our customers over time. This new link will also allow us to secure our existing traffic and allow better throughput to our locations in the Indian Ocean.’ Orange Group’s global network currently features more than 40 submarine cables, including its investments in the SeaMeWe-3SeaMeWe-4SeaMeWe-5IMEWE and SAFE systems. Recent projects include Amitie and Dunant in the Atlantic Ocean and PEACE Cable in the Mediterranean.

Read the full article here.

Regulating the Digital Economy after Brexit, what is the UK’s approach?

Following its Benefits of Brexit Policy Paper and the Plan for Digital Regulation the UK Government’s Post Brexit approach to regulating the digital economy is taking shape

The tech sector is the UK’s modern economic success story, the most recent DCMS data showed that the sector added £150.6bn to the UK economy in 2019 [1], supporting 1.56 million jobs.[2] UK tech is on a rapid expansion path, the sector grew by over 25% in the decade from 2010 to 2020[3] and 2021 was the best year ever for investment in UK tech start-ups[4]. Research from DCMS suggests that if digital ecosystems across the UK are effectively supported, they could add another 678,000 jobs by 2025 across the country.[5]

As digital technologies and services have become ever more ubiquitous to the way we live our lives regulation of the sector has grown. The 2020’s will be a major moment for this with new rules on competition, data protection, online safety, artificial intelligence and telecommunications being introduced in the UK, but also around the world.

This global shift brings with it a debate on how best to regulate the digital economy. What is the right balance between protecting consumers and citizens while also enabling the benefits, economic and social, that digital connectivity and services bring.

Following its exit from the EU the UK is aiming to define its own path and seeking to navigate between the global trading giants like the EU and the USA.

As the UK charts its approach to regulating the digital economy what we are seeing is a third way between the more laissez faire approach of the USA and a comparatively proscriptive approach from the EU. The UK model is seeing legislation from the Government set objectives at a high level and the UK’s regulators being tasked to deliver detailed guidance, generally in the form of codes of conduct or standards for the industry.

This approach aims to strike the right balance between identifying clear outcomes such as boosting competition in digital markets or making the UK the safest place to be online while maintaining flexibility so regulators can be adaptive in their enforcement as well as modifying guidance as new technologies emerge. This trend will also likely see supplementary duties being set for regulators to consider the economic implications of intervention as well as having due regard for innovation.

Regulation is enormously important for the UK tech sector, around 96% of tech sector output and 81% of exports is in services, where regulation is vital for the research, development and then deployment of digital services. Increasingly regulation is cited by techUK members as important for investment decisions and the comparative advantage of the UK economy. In our recent Digital Economy Monitor Survey members highlighted that good regulation can be a driver of demand and stability, but that contradictory regulations or differing approaches may frustrate growth plans.

Read the full article here.

What Does the Future Hold for the Telecommunications Industry?

If you could look into a crystal ball and view the future of the telecommunications industry in 2022 and beyond, what might you see? Our experts at Comarch have some ideas – as they have applied their in-depth knowledge and industry expertise to predict key developments in telco in the coming year.

One key area in which advances are expected is that of customer experience and care. In the business to consumer (B2C) sector, artificial intelligence (AI) will help telcos monitor and get to know their customers better. The results should be quickly apparent in terms of higher satisfaction among customers who perceive that they are treated not only as individuals, but also as unique and valued. In business to business (B2B), we can also expect changes. Enterprise portals and the Internet of Things (IoT) will give new capabilities to non-telco sectors that rely on telecommunications for their operations, bringing best practices from telco-retail partnerships into play.

Of course, 5G will continue to have a major and expanding influence on everything that telcos do in terms of products and services. Advances in automation and autonomy, driven by 5G, will impact the entire telecommunications landscape – from autonomous network management and maintenance to optimization of factories transitioning to Industry 4.0.

Read the full article here.

Ericsson ‘corruption-related misconduct’ potentially funded terror

Ericsson has found evidence of “corruption-related misconduct” in its Iraq operations and cannot rule out that payments were made to terror groups, including ISIS.

The Swedish telecoms giant says that it launched an internal investigation in 2019 following unusual expense claims dating back to 2018. Ericsson says that its investigation covered the period 2011-2019 and included the conduct of its employees, vendors, and suppliers in Iraq.

In a media statement, Ericsson said the investigation “identified evidence of corruption-related misconduct” including:

  • Making a monetary donation without a clear beneficiary.
  • Paying a supplier for work without a defined scope and documentation.
  • Using suppliers to make cash payments.
  • Funding inappropriate travel and expenses.
  • Improper use of sales agents and consultants.

Ericsson says that it also found violations of the company’s internal financial controls; conflicts of interest; non-compliance with tax laws; and obstruction of the investigation.

Furthermore, the firm uncovered payment schemes and cash transactions that created the risk of money laundering and “identified payments to intermediaries and the use of alternate transport routes in connection with circumventing Iraqi Customs, at a time when terrorist organizations, including ISIS, controlled some transport routes.”

Ericsson could not identify that any of its employees were directly involved in financing terror organisations, but that does not rule out indirect payments after acknowledging potential money laundering and payments to intermediaries.

Read the full article here.

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