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Uber faces widespread Asia bribery allegations

20 Sep 2017

 

According to reports in Bloomberg , Uber Technologies Inc have embarked on a review of it's Asia operations and notified U.S officials about payments made by it's staff in Indonesia.

Uber are currently under federal investigation for bribery allegations, with attorneys focusing on suspicious activity in a number of Asian countries including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea.

Uber is said to be working closely with law firm O'Melveny & Myers LLP to examine records of foreign payments made. One instance which is being reviewed is said to be a web of financial arrangements tied to the Malaysian government that may have influenced lawmakers.

In 2016, Uber apparently had an issue with the Indonesian police over the location of an office that was set up to provide support to it's drivers. The police claimed the space was outside of the cities business zone. Allegedly a number of small payments were made to the police to allow them to continue operations and avoid closure. As reported in Bloomberg, the transactions then showed up on an employees expense reports. Uber went on to fire that particular employee in question.

According to reports, at least one senior member of Uber's legal team failed to report the incident to the U.S officials. It wasn't until Uber were approached by the Justice Department, did they then inform officials of what happened in Indonesia.  

In mid 2016, a donation said to be in the tens of thousands was made to the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre, a government backed entrepreneurial hub. Around the same time, a Malaysian pension fund, invested $30 million in Uber, and less than a year later, the Malaysian government passed national ride-hailing laws that were favourable to Uber.

The ever growing mountain of legal problems building, have played a role in the departure of several top executives including, Travis Kalanick. A number of other top employees are said to be on the verge of departure also. 

 

 

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