WARSAW, Poland, April 10 (UPI) -- Following a three-year inquiry by authorities into alleged corruption into Polish information technology companies, American company Hewlett-Packard acknowledged it paid bribes in Poland to win public contracts.
“It’s a breakthrough moment in Poland when a great international company acknowledges its corrupt activities,” Polish Interior Minister Bartomiej Sienkiewicz told Polish public radio Wednesday.
The case followed an investigation of industry bribes and bribe-taking from 2007 to 2010.
Poland’s Central Anti-Corruption Bureau began its investigation in 2011, and uncovered numerous cases of alleged bribes paid in exchange for government computer contracts. 41 people, including company officials, government officials and former police officials, have been charged.
Prosecutors said Hewlett-Packard’s Poland division paid bribes worth over $500,000 for the contract to provide computers to Poland’s police forces.
“The corrupt activities are limited to a small number of people who are no longer employed by the company, Hewlett-Packard vice president John Schultz said in a statement.
The U.S. FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission were involved in the investigation.