The Indian arm of American retail giant Walmart has terminated a mid-level manager amid investigations into alleged violations of U.S. anti-bribery laws in the country. Two years ago, when the company was known as Bharti Wal-Mart, it had sacked its chief financial officer and the entire legal team in connection with the same probe.
The mid-level manager, who received a termination notice last week, is also required to be available for questioning by the U.S. Department of Justice in the next five years, The Economic Times, an Indian business newspaper, reported Tuesday, citing two people familiar with the matter. According to the report, Walmart seeks to reveal any possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which makes it illegal for U.S. companies to bribe government officials in foreign countries.
This is not the first time that Walmart has faced FCPA challenges over bribery allegations. In recent years, the company’s Mexico unit was accused of bribing government officials as it sought to drive the company’s growth in the country. The controversy in Mexico led the company to review and reinforce its FCPA compliance program in other countries, including in India, The Economic Times reported.
Walmart, which appointed company executive Murali Lanka as chief operations officer of its wholly-owned Indian subsidiary last month, split with Sunil Bharti Mittal’s Bharti Enterprises, its equal joint venture partner, last year.
It is unclear whether any other employees in its India offices are being investigated.