JAPAN

Japanese consultant confesses to bribes to win foreign aid contracts

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 March, 2014, 11:09pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 March, 2014, 11:09pm
AFP

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A Japanese consultancy firm said yesterday it was investigating a report that its president had admitted bribing foreign officials to win contracts linked to development projects.

Tamio Kakinuma, head of Japan Transportation Consultants (JTC), last week admitted to Tokyo prosecutors that the firm gave 130 million yen (HK$9.8 million) in bribes, Japan's Yomiuri newspaper said. He had signed a confession, it added.

 said it had set up an internal committee to look into the claims.

"We apologise for causing shareholders, business partners and others concerned a lot of trouble and worry," a company spokesman said. "But we can't comment further until the independent committee announces results of their investigation."

Kakinuma, 65, told prosecutors that his firm paid kickbacks to civil servants in Vietnam, Indonesia and Uzbekistan to win work tied to Japan's official development assistance projects, the report said.

Prosecutors were preparing to launch a criminal investigation, it added.

Among the payments were 80 million yen to officials at Vietnam Railways to win a project worth 4.2 billion yen, and 30 million yen linked to three projects in Indonesia, the paper said.

Uzbek officials were paid about 20 million yen, it added.

The Tokyo Prosecutors' Office declined to comment yesterday.