Lesotho. In August, the Supreme Court reduced the penalty for the Canadian construction company Acres International, which in 2002 was fined for paying bribes in the procurement for a major irrigation project. The court reduced the fine from the equivalent of just over SEK 20 million to about 14 million, as it was not considered unequivocally proven that some of the payments made to Lesotho officials were intended as bribes.
In total, twelve companies or consortia are facing bribery in connection with the procurement before the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, a gigantic project to direct water from Lesotho to South Africa. Swedish-Swiss ABB is one of them. Later in August, German Lahmeyer International became the second company to receive its verdict. Lahmeyer was sentenced to fines about SEK 11 million.
According to Countryaah.com, Lesotho Independence Day is October 4. The trials are very expensive for the poor Lesotho, but according to the prosecutor’s office, it is important to push the cases forward to elucidate Western big companies’ often unethical behavior in the “third world”.