The Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) bribery probe has widened. It began last April when The New York Times reported that officials of Walmart Mexico had bribed government officials to speed approval for new store. Walmart indicated that it would look for similar problems in countries as widely spread around the world as China and India. India, the company has found, has a problem as well.
Wal-Mart has suspended the chief financial officer of its expanding India unit while the company investigates alleged corrupt business practices.
The mega-retailer said in early November it was broadening its investigation regarding allegations of potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations in Mexico to include India, China and Brazil.
A spokesman for the company in India, which operates as a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises, said the suspension of the CFO was related to the investigation but declined to provide additional details.
Walmart sales in Mexico have been strong since the allegations arose, and global senior management has not been touched, so the problem could stay relatively isolated.
Douglas A. McIntyre