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Sinopec Admits Ex-employee Took Bribes from Daimler

Said foreign firms should be severely punished for breaking the law

China's Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, has confirmed that a former employee took bribes from Daimler and urged Beijing to "severely punish" foreign firms breaking the law.

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. said it had discovered in 2004 that the employee at one of its subsidiaries, surnamed Du, had taken kickbacks from Daimler, according to a statement on the Chinese firm's website.

"We urge and hope the government will effectively exert its jurisdiction and severely punish those multinationals and merchants audaciously challenging Chinese laws," Sinopec said.

The bribes are part of a wider case in which Daimler admitted to hundreds of improper payments worth tens of millions of dollars to foreign government officials in at least 22 countries including China between 1998 and 2008.

In the Sinopec case, its subsidiary immediately cut off its business ties with Daimler to rectify the problem, and Du was jailed in 2006 for taking bribes.

Tan Dashui, a spokesman for the subsidiary, said Du had received bribes worth around 2.02 million euros (US$2.7 million) from Daimler.

"No other company employee was involved in the case," Tan said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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