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Arrests made in Media Markt corruption probe

The Local · 20 Oct 2011, 10:44

Published: 20 Oct 2011 10:44 GMT+02:00

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The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Thursday that a Media Markt executive had been arrested in connection with bribes allegedly paid to give one firm exclusive access to sell DSL connections to the chain's customers.

The man alleged to have made millions from selling the DSL connections was among those arrested, the paper said.

A spokesman at the Media-Saturn group, which includes Germany's dominate consumer electronics chains Media Markt and Saturn, said the manager was going to be removed from the company.

Augsburg public prosecutor Reinhard Nemetz told the paper he was expecting to press charges of serious bribery, describing the suspects as having been organised like a gang. A conviction could lead to prison sentences, he said.

It is thought that a businessman named by the prosecutor only as Peter N., made €50 million in commissions on DSL contracts that his workers sold at Media Markt and Saturn shops between 2005 and 2010.

He had paid hefty bribes to managers at Media-Saturn in order to be the only one selling such contracts in their stores, the prosecutor alleges.

The talk is of around €3.5 million in bribes, made in more than 200 payments. This opened the doors of the shops to him, with managers being told to cooperate with his workers.

A whistleblower sent a letter to the authorities last year, describing in detail how the operation worked. This sparked raids in July, with around 160 police officers searching 20 flats and offices across the country, including the Media-Saturn headquarters in Ingolstadt.

Material seized during these raids supported the claims made in the letter, the Süddeutsche Zeitung said. An internal investigation conducted by auditing firm KPMG came to similar conclusions.

Story continues below…

The bribe money was laundered via, among other things, property purchases in the USA – via companies set up and owned by the wives of those concerned.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:01 October 20, 2011 by zeddriver
This is what's wrong with our system. How are we going to restore confidence in the capitalist system when you have the prosecutor state that a conviction MAY lead to prison time. If convicted there MUST be harsh prison time as well as harsh monitary punishment. Incuding confiscation of their US property.
12:41 October 20, 2011 by minga
This case will vanish. Just like Ackermann or Mannesmann trials. A slap on the wrist at the maximum.
15:35 October 20, 2011 by catjones
I've never heard of as much bribery, kickbacks, under-the-table business practices, plagiarism as I have in DL.....and these are just the ones who get caught. Something more for the germans to brag about.
15:49 October 22, 2011 by shahislam
Great steps but we have to extremely careful about imposing harse judjment without giving the suspects benefits of doubts, if there is any and honestly show the evidences before the World, so that these blind heads will follow the upcoming trend of peaceful surrendering of power to be set, beginning... more

Great steps but we have to extremely careful about imposing harsh judgment without giving the suspects benefits of doubts, if there is any and honestly show the evidences before the World, so that these blind heads will follow the upcoming trend of peaceful surrendering of power to be set, beginning with Syrian ruler-ship.

It must be a fool who pulled the trigger that killed Gaddafi but the advisers were surely terrorist-minded Libyans: the 'wanna be heads of power'-freedom fighting guys, who eventually, at least on a very personal level will face same or similar justice either by the CC (cosmic Creator) or indirectly through other creations. Examples are in the historical events of all killed (internal or external suffering ended) or still alive but suffering from conscience (Protected by man-made laws) leaders starting from the East to West (e.g. India to US).

If 'we-the good part of the West' could become fast enough to already declare amnesty for Gaddafi, then we could bring the leadership-hungry bad Libyans under justice now and donate Gaddafi's oil-money to secured UN funds to peacefully remove many bad ruler-ships and convince the world how great is the West.

However, we shall still have more opportunities in the near future, therefore, no-one to be blamed, as ultimate reality is at the whim of playful Cosmic Creator beyond human understanding or judgment of being right and wrong.

But the creations that become killer of other creations shall not be spared of crimes of direct killings; and the game of "Bacteria and Anti-Bacteria @ 50% rule" to be continued forever.

Now what will be happening is: Libyan cruel guys will start fighting or killing each-other soon and then, when we honestly will help the isolated portions of the Global Public to non-violently get rid of fake Tigers, our role will be silently noticed and welcome with wide open arms not only in some Countries but in a few Continents.

23:25 October 22, 2011 by mikel taylor
Looks like this guy went to business school in the states, looks like a fine example of business as usual at some of the largest retailers in the US.

lets just chalk this up to ingenuity and opportunity. instead of prosecuting this guy Germany should give him a job at one of it's finest business schools to teach the system
23:26 October 22, 2011 by zeddriver
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