Carlsberg’s Vice-president Admits Using Bribes

Carlsberg admits they are making shortcuts by using bribes. It’s against the cooperation’s own ethical rules, but it’s also against Danish and International laws.

But the reality is that one of the biggest breweries in the world jump to pay them self’s into shortcuts. Inside the organisation there are some disagreements about what, when and where the cooperation are using bribes.

It all started at a conference about corruption and fraud, »Copenhagen Compliance«, held at the Radisson Blu Royal in Copenhagen, where Carlsberg’s Vice President, internat audits Vibeke Aggerholm, at the first day of the conference said that it was a little naïve to believe that bribery doesn’t take place when you run a global business.

Further on in the discussion Carlsbergs Vibeke Aggerholm added on:

” We have told our people to conduct things in a transparent way. Every time a staff member meets that kind of challenges, they need an OK form the management and we have to be sure that we are talking about limited amounts”.

During the panel discussion every single member of the panel was asked where, in which areas there were the greatest problems with bribery.

On behalf of Carlsberg, its Vice President Vibeke Aggerholm said:

»If I had to choose one area, I would choose construction of new breweries”.

After the conference the Danish newspaper Berlingske called Vibeke Aggerholm, to get a more comprehensive explanation from Carlsberg’s Vice President, internal audits.

She asked for the questions to be sent via mail, and from that moment Carlsberg’s press officers took over.

The following mail from Carlsberg’s vice president communications, Jens Bekke, Carlsberg to the Danish journalist said that Carlsberg are against bribery. When it comes to “facility payments” (Bribery or tea-money) we have a clear policy. We don’t support it, and in the future we have to avoid it completely. Bu as a global company we also have to admit, the bribery can’t disappear over night.

“Bribery or tea-money will take place. An example could be a visa application. A small amount could the visa faster trough the system” wrote vice president communications, Jens Bekke, Carlsberg.

His mail to Berlingske lacked an answer to the question have many times a year Carlsberg’s managements accepts payments of bribes. And in which countries Carlsberg typically accept paying bribes, and how common the practice is with in the Carlsberg organisation.

The answer came later when the Danish paper got a call from Carlsberg’s Communication Director and a member of the Carlsberg board.

»I hope that Vibeke (the Vice President) made it very clear, that facilitation payment (bribery or tea-money) isn’t something we support. We are trying in every possible way to avoid it in every way we can. We also want our staff out on the field to avoid it, where we have to use facilitation payments to speed up a process” said Anne-Marie Skov, who goes against her Vice President and internal Audits. She reject that Carlsberg turn to bribery when constructing new breweries.

Carlsberg’s Communication Director don’t have any figures of how often the management accept “facilitation payments (bribery or tea-money), how much it is in all and where it happened.

»We dont register the numbers here in Copenhagen”, says Anne-Marie Skov.

What she know is the limit of amounts Carlsberg accepts being paid in briberies.

»We talk about amounts of 300 to 500 Danish kroner (approximately 70 US$ to 90 US$. In some countries that is a lot of money and that why we have told our people that we are talking about small money, talk with your boss about the details. It’s also to protect our own people. We don’t want any of them getting problems because of facilitation money”, says Anne-Marie Skov, who reject that Carlsberg do anything illegal.

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