No, it’s not another Hollywood FCPA movie like Syriana (see here ), although it sort of sounds like it.
Rather it is the Panalpina enforcement action. And its coming soon. According to Panalpina, a Swiss company and one of the world’s leading suppliers of forwarding and logistics services, “last week” it “commenced settlement discussions” with the DOJ concerning its FCPA exposure and the matter is “coming to a close.” (see here ).
Not familar with the Panalpina matter?
In February 2007, DOJ announced (see here ) the guilty pleas of three Vetco International Ltd. subsidiaries for violating the FCPA. In the plea documents, the Vetco entities acknowledged making improper payments to employees of the Nigerian Customs Services “through a major international freight fowarding and customs clearance company.”
In July 2007, Panalpina announced (see here ) that the above guilty plea triggered a number of events. First, Panalpina’s U.S. subsidiary was requested to produce documents relating to the services it provided to the Vetco entities in Nigeria. Second, and more broadly, Panalpina announced that “several other customers have announced to U.S. authorities the review of their practices related to Nigerian importation procedures.” Further, the company noted that “U.S. authorities have extended the scope of their review to Panalpina’s documents related to services into Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia for a limited number of customers.”
Soon thereafter, Panalpina “suspended part of its service offering in Nigeria including its temporary importation services for oil and gas customers.” (see here ). Later, Panalpina stopped all domestic services in Nigeria. (see here ).
When announced, the Panalpina FCPA enforcement action is likely to be broad in scope and potentially entangle other companies as well.