June 1, 2017 / 1:20 PM / a year ago

Thyssenkrupp's Atlas ordered to pay 48 mln euros in bribery case

FRANKFURT, June 1 (Reuters) - German prosecutors have ordered Thyssenkrupp’s Atlas Elektronik GmbH to pay to the state about 48 million euros ($54 million) that it was found to have earned from contracts in Greece and Peru.

The Bremen prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Thursday that it suspected employees of Atlas, a maritime technology company, paid a Greek middle-man more than 13 million euros to win submarine sonar system orders.

Some of that money ended up in the pockets of Greek officials after having been funnelled through accounts in London and Switzerland, it said.

In addition, the prosecutor’s office said it found evidence of bribes to a middle-man in connection with the sale of torpedoes to Peru’s navy.

It said it had found a manager of Atlas, whom it did not name, had committed a negligent breach of his supervisory duties. That manager no longer works for the company.

“The managing director is accused of having failed to set up effective compliance controls to prevent the violations by employees of Atlas Elektronik GmbH,” it said.

Atlas welcomed the decision, which allows it to continue to bid for government projects because it paid a so-called forfeiture order rather than a fine.

“It ends a difficult period for our company,” Atlas Chief Executive Jens Bodo Koch said in a statement.

The payment order concludes the prosecutor’s investigation of Atlas but not ongoing probes of Atlas staff and their accomplices, the prosecutor’s office said.

Earlier this year, Thyssenkrupp agreed to buy the 49 percent of Atlas it did not already own from Airbus.

$1 = 0.8913 euros Reporting by Maria Sheahan and Georgina Prodhan. Editing by Jane Merriman

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