US and Netherlands demand billions from Telia

Authorities in the USA and the Netherlands want Telia Company to pay 1.4 billion, around SKr 12 billion, in a settlement for the Uzbekistan deal.

  Telia’s management estimate the proposal covers all ongoing investigations in all countries, including Sweden, although not criminal accusations against individuals in the Swedish preliminary investigation.

  CEO Johan Dennelind says that it is difficult to make detailed comments before the proposal has been gone through in detail. “Many times before I have said that Telia Company went into Uzbekistan in an unethical and wrong way and we are prepared to take responsibility for that,” he says.

  The authorities are investigating transactions Telia made whilst establishing a presence in Uzbekistan in 2007. Swedish TeliaSonera, Russian-Norwegian Vimpelcom and Russian MTS are suspected of having bribed Gulnara Karimova, daughter of Uzbekistan’s then president Islam Karimov.

Nordea could face hefty fine

Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) took immediate contact with the Luxembourg authorities after Sunday’s “Panama Papers” leak, indicating that the Nordea banking group had helped wealthy clients set up accounts in offshore tax havens.

Christer Furustedt, head of the FSA department overseeing the Swedish banks, says the allegations are serious. He notes that trust lies at the heart of banking, therefore “it is important that banks comply with the rules”.

The watchdog will meet with the bank’s senior management today to demand an answer to a number of questions.

As recently as May 2015, Nordea was fined SKr 50 million for deficiencies in its appliance of anti-money laundering rules. The bank could now face up to SKr 5-6 billion in fines, if Sunday’s allegations prove to be true.