American families of servicemen and workers killed or injured in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria are suing Ericsson under the federal anti-terrorism act.
The families last month filed a suit in the District Court of Columbia alleging that Ericsson bribed terrorist groups to protect its interests in these countries and by doing so exposed their family members to graver risks.
The claim has been submitted by ‘high stakes’ law firm Sparacino, which specialises in terror-related and geopolitical cases. It says it has ex-members of the intelligence community on its teams.
The 498-page file submitted to the court drills down into such granular detail of how ISIS and al-Qaeda operate that it seems clear the intelligence claimed was obtained from very deep sources.
Ericsson responded to the allegations of corruption in its Iraq activities with a brief statement in its Q2 earnings document, saying: “We continue to engage with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission in relation to the 2019 Iraq investigation report. The outcome of these matters cannot be assessed at this point in time. We are fully committed to cooperating with the US authorities.”
Allegations include that Ericsson arranged for middlemen subcontractors to pay Islamic State 10 per cent of the value of a project in protection money. This is believed to have amounted to millions of dollars, which the families of victims say led to death and injury of their loved ones.
One of the examples cited is that Ericsson got permission from the Islamic State to work in ISIS-controlled cities and paid to smuggle equipment through a route known as the ‘Speedway’ to avoid official government checkpoints and customs duties.
The Sparacino court document claims: “Defendants chose to move their goods in Iraq using the ‘Speedway route’ as opposed to the ‘legal way’.
“The former [Speedway] involved payoffs to terrorists and greater profits for Defendants. The latter [official route] avoided enriching terrorists but burdened Ericsson with lower profit margins from its Iraq business.”
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