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Wal-Mart Mexico hit by fresh allegations from US

August 18, 2012

Two U.S. Congressmen investigating Wal-Mart’s Mexican subsidiary over bribery allegations  have uncovered new evidence of money laundering and tax evasion, they revealed this week.

House Representatives Elijah Cummings and Henry Waxman wrote a letter to Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke on Tuesday, warning that freshly uncovered internal documents suggest the company “may have had compliance issues relating not only to bribery, but also to ‘questionable financial behavior’ including tax evasion and money laundering in Mexico.”

Following the letter’s publication Tuesday, shares in Wal-Mart’s Mexican subsidiary fell 5.6 percent the following day. The company issued a statement on Wednesday affirming that “it has no knowledge that (it) is being investigated by Mexican authorities concerning these issues.”

The U.S. Congressional investigation of Wal-Mart’s Mexican operations began in April, following allegations published in the New York Times that the company had paid multiple bribes to secure store permits and subsequently covered up the practice.

The two Democrats complained in Tuesday’s letter that Wal-Mart had repeatedly “failed to provide the documents we requested” on the company’s internal investigation, and had not allowed them to speak to employees involved in the bribery allegations.

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