Corruption taint hits Walmart in India

Walmart retail

World's largest retailer Walmart today said it is investigating allegations of corrupt practices against it in foreign markets, including India.

Walmart has a a joint venture with Sunil Mittal's (Airtel) Bharti Enterprises named Bharti Walmart Private Limited - Walmart is the world's leading retailer.

In March 2011, the US-based company had started a worldwide review of its policies, practices and internal controls for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance.

"We have inquiries or investigations regarding allegations of potential FCPA violations in a number of foreign markets where we operate regarding FCPA allegations, including but not limited to Brazil, China and India. This is in addition to the ongoing investigation in Mexico," the company said in a statement on its Website.

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the US bars bribing officials of foreign governments.

Since the implementation of the global review and the enhanced anti-corruption compliance programme, the company has identified or it has been made aware of additional allegations regarding potential violations of the FCPA, the statement said.

The company, however, did not specify specific charges of corruption in any of the countries it mentioned.

"As these matters are currently under review, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further on the specific allegations until we have concluded the investigations," the company said about the latest development.

The company has made improvements to its compliance programs around the world and has taken a number of specific, concrete actions with respect to our processes, procedures and people, it added.

"When allegations are reported or identified, we, together with our third party advisors, conduct inquiries and when warranted, we open investigations," it added. Reiterating that it took compliance with the FCPA very seriously and it was committed to having a strong and effective global compliance programme in every country in which it operates, Walmart said: "We will not tolerate non-compliance anywhere or at any level of the company.

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