Telenor inquires VimpelCom regarding bribing in order to enter into Uzbekistan market

Press Releases: 16 January 2015

Telenor has received (from the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries) a comprehensive document regarding the company’s entry into Eastern Europe during the early 1990s.

The information that was submitted to the Ministry was from an anonymous source, with the signature “whistleblower”.

Read the original press release in Norwegian here.

The information received describes circumstances regarding VimpelCom’s entry into Uzbekistan that are new to Telenor. This is related to alleged payments beyond those that were already confirmed and understood, along with descriptions of VimpelCom’s entry into other markets. This (document) also presents circumstances that Telenor has already taken steps to explain, and as a minority owner, Telenor will contact VimpelCom for further explanation immediately.

Telenor wants to point out that there are several aspects (of this document) making it necessary to be cautious. The information regarding the period in the early 1990s is not easy to relate to, since the document contains a mixture of known and unknown information, allegations and speculations. Overall, this can be interpreted as an attempt to discredit Telenor, in light of the serious situation concerning VimpelCom’s investments in Uzbekistan.

Telenor’s investments in Russia and Ukraine (over the previously mentioned period) include a number of incidents and activities from a period of time stretching beyond that which was described in the received material.

Telenor confirms that (during the briefing to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, and in the hearing before the Committee for Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs on 14 January 2015) it has given a full account of the knowledge it has of VimpelCom’s entry into Uzbekistan. Telenor will update the Norwegian authorities on how the company assesses the serious allegations that have been anonymously put forward.

Regarding the ongoing investigation of VimpelCom’s investment in Uzbekistan, Telenor will continue to cooperate with the investigating authorities to the best of its abilities.

For the time being, Telenor has no further information

Telenor PR

About Ahmed Islamov

I was born and raised in Uzbekistan and lived in that country for about two thirds of my life. I left the country about 14 years ago but sustained tight bonds with my family and friends living there. I know and communicate personally with hundreds of people including blue-, white- or pink-collar workers. I am naturally very attached to and concerned with everything that is going on there.
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