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An ICIJ Investigation

The Ericsson List

The inside story of how a telecom giant dealt with terrorists and financed shady deals in pursuit of profits around the globe.

  • The Ericsson List reveals that the Swedish telecom giant sought permission from the terrorist group known as the Islamic State to work in an ISIS-controlled city and paid to smuggle equipment into ISIS areas on a route known as the “Speedway.”
  • Ericsson made tens of millions of dollars in suspicious payments over nearly a decade to sustain its business in Iraq, financing slush funds, trips abroad for defense officials and payoffs through middlemen to corporate executives and possibly terrorists.
  • The telecom giant relied on politically connected fixers and unvetted subcontractors, sham contracts, inflated invoices, falsified financial statements and payments to “consultants” with nebulous job descriptions as part of its business dealings in Iraq.
  • Ericsson presided over corrupt conduct in Iraq even after it had acknowledged in 2013 that it was cooperating with U.S. authorities investigating bribery allegations elsewhere. The U.S. probe, which does not mention Iraq, resulted in a $1 billion bribery settlement in 2019.
  • Ericsson conducted other internal probes of alleged misconduct in Lebanon, Spain, Portugal and Egypt. In addition, a spreadsheet lists undisclosed company probes into possible bribery, money laundering and embezzlement by employees in Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brazil, China, Croatia, Libya, Morocco, the United States and South Africa.
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