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Siemens Paid Billions in Bribes, SEC Says

WASHINGTON (CN) - Siemens Aktiengesellschaft paid $1.4 billion in bribes to government officials in Venezuela, China, Israel, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Argentina, Vietnam, Russia, Mexico and Iraq and created bogus paper trails to hide it, the SEC says in Federal Court. It made $1.1 billion from those corrupt deals, the agency says.

Siemens is one of the oldest and the largest electroconglomerates in the world.

Among the allegedly corrupt projects from which Siemens profited were transit lines in Venezuela, trains, electric plants and signals in China, power plants in Israel, mobile telephone projects in Bangladesh, communications projects in Nigeria, medical devices in Vietnam, China and Russia, refineries in Mexico, and power stations in Iraq.

For the historically minded, Siemens, founded in 1847, was a major funder of the German National Socialist Party before WWII and used slave labor in Nazi concentration camps to make electrical devices and other articles for the Nazi war effort.

The SEC demands disgorgement, injunctions and penalties.

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