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Collusive Practices: Three Companies Settle with World Bank

Author: Niall Hearty  11 January 2022

Niall Hearty of financial crime specialists Rahman Ravelli considers the impact of what has been agreed.

Three companies have reached a settlement with the World Bank over their activity relating to the development of two airports in Madagascar.

The construction firms Bouygues Bâtiment International and Colas Madagascar and airport developer ADP International agreed to resolutions with the World Bank over collusive practices regarding the $250 million expansion and renovation of the two airports.

The World Bank said the companies had attended improper meetings with government officials seven years ago, while the bidding process for the airport contracts was underway.

France-based Bouygues Bâtiment was not debarred from future work but is now subject to a 12- month probation period. Colas Madagascar, a subsidiary of French engineering company Colas, was debarred for two years. It had arranged the meetings and failed to disclose them to the bank, leading to it also being charged with fraudulent conduct. It will now be debarred by other development banks.

ADP International was debarred for 12 months with a further 12-month probation period. The firm, which is a subsidiary of Groupe ADP – that runs Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, among others - also committed misconduct on an airport development project in Croatia. It committed fraud when it failed to disclose to the World Bank that some of the fees paid by it to an agent on the Madagascar project were passed on to another consultant.

The sanctions against these companies will be seen as welcome news by supporters of the World Bank and its efforts to promote high standards of integrity on its projects.

The action that has been taken can be seen as a deterrent to others who may contemplate similar action - and a clear sign that such business practices are relics of the past.

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Niall has a wealth of corporate crime expertise and an ability to coordinate global bribery and corruption cases. His achievements in such investigations have made him a logical choice for corporate clients.

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