The CEO of Scandinavian operator TeliaSonera has resigned following an investigation into the firm’s dealings in Uzbekistan. Lars Nyberg quit his position after failing to procure the support of the operator’s board following a report by Swedish law firm Mannheimer Swartling.
While the law firm stated that it “has not found any substance to the allegations that TeliaSonera committed bribery or participated in money laundering in connection with its investments in Uzbekistan”, it did conclude that the operator’s “internal controls were not sufficient to ensure that it did not risk becoming involved in any unethical business, and that thereby the company’s internal ethical guidelines were not followed completely.”
TeliaSonera’s dealings in Uzbekistan were under investigation at the behest of its own board following allegations of money laundering and corruption. Mannheimer Swartling has strongly criticised TeliaSonera’s inadequate background checks on its local partner, with the board agreeing that the deal was investments “not carried out in a satisfactory manner”.
In addition to withdrawing support for Nyberg, the board will introduce “stringent risk assessment procedures” to prevent any similar accusations in future investments. Its activities in Uzbekistan is remains under investigation by the Swedish Prosecuting Authorities.