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Thyssen ex-employees probed over E.Europe payments

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 30 Nov 2012 12:45 GMT
Author: Reuters
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 (Adds statement from prosecutor)

   FRANKFURT, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Prosecutors are probing former employees of German steel group ThyssenKrupp <TKAG.DE> over alleged fraud connected to suspicious payments in Eastern Europe, the company said on Friday.

   ThyssenKrupp called in the prosecutors after a tip-off from an employee led to the discovery of irregularities and potential fraud at the eastern European operations of subsidiary GfT Bautechnik. 

   That led to employees being dismissed, ThyssenKrupp said in a statement, without specifying how many people were involved.

   The public prosecutor's office in Essen, where ThyssenKrupp is based, said in a statement it had just launched a probe against 14 people regarding alleged fraud and bribery. 

   German paper Handelsblatt reported the bribes involved false invoices and unjustified commissions adding up to a double-digit million euro amount, with payments made to win projects in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and China.

   The prosecutors were not immediately available for comment. 

  ($1 = 0.7705 euros)

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Nikola Rotscheroth; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters and Helen Massy-Beresford)

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