Paying for bribery

Published: Tuesday 15 February 2005

Agrochemical giant Monsanto is embroiled in a major corruption scandal in Indonesia. The company has admitted to paying bribes to Indonesian officials to evade conducting an environmental impact study, needed as a prerequisite for cultivating genetically modified crops in the country. On January 6, 2005, Monsanto agreed to pay us $1.5 million as fines to settle the criminal and civil charges against it in this regard. In the settlement reached with the us Department of Justice (doj) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (sec), it also consented to adopt internal compliance measures and cooperate with investigations.

The doj said Monsanto violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by illegally paying us $50,000 to a senior official in Indonesia's environment ministry in 2002. The sec has also charged it with making at least us $700,000 of "illegal or questionable payments" to "at least 140 current or former Indonesian government officials and their family members". Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission has said it will investigate the case.

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