Corruption, Legislation, Lithuania, Markets and Companies

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 14.06.2024, 01:48

TI: Lithuania scores poorly in terms of fighting business bribery abroad

BC, Vilnius, 13.10.2020.Print version
Lithuania has scored poorly in terms of its law enforcement effort to fight against bribery of foreign officials by Lithuanian companies operating abroad, according to the latest survey by the non-governmental organization Transparency International, LETA/BNS informed.

Lithuania has been awarded 3 points for the initiated investigations and it is classified among countries with limited enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The country was awarded two points in 2018.

"I would like our businesses and law enforcement institutions to comply even better with international commitments and to pay more attention to promoting business transparency. The examples of neighboring Latvia and Estonia demonstrate that this is achievable," Sergejus Muravjovas, CEO of Transparency International Lithuania, said in a statement.

Between 2016 and 2019, the Lithuanian Special Investigation Service (STT) launched three pre-trial investigations into bribery of foreign officials by Lithuanian companies operating abroad: bribery of an aircraft and engineering company in the United States, alleged crimes of a frozen products company in Russia and the possible bribery of the pharmaceutical company in Latvia, the statement said.

The latter case is the only one of the three that is still ongoing. The investigation into bribery of a US official has not reached the court due to a lack of evidence, while the crimes linked to a Russian frozen products company have not been fully investigated as the legal immunity of the suspect has not been waived.

The IT report also states hat the only ongoing STT investigation is looking into whether a shareholder and a director of the company Solis Tribus engaged in corrupt and anti-competitive practices in Latvia and Lithuania, in order to restrict or monopolize blood plasma collection, in favor of the company.

The STT told LETA/BNS the pre-trial investigation, launched in 2018, was completed in early September and suspicions were brought against Antanas Petrosius, a Solis Tribus shareholder, and Joana Bikulciene, former director, of the National Blood Center.

The United States (1,236), the United Kingdom (147), Switzerland (125), and Israel (38) have been rated the best for law enforcement investigations and their outcomes. Estonia (7) and Latvia (6) scored higher than Lithuania, but they also fall into the same group of countries with limited compliance with OECD obligations to investigate foreign bribery.

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