Telia will pay just shy of $1 billion to settle a corruption investigation into its opco in Uzbekistan, as three former employees face further charges from the Swedish Prosecution Authority.

The operator was found to have channelled $330 million through the US and the Netherlands to bribe Uzbek government officials between 2007 and 2010, violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

These payments helped Telia subsidiary Coscom secure access to the market, including acquiring 3G and 4G licences, investigators found.

Telia has been under investigation by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US, as well as the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM).

The Sweden-based company will now pay out $965 million to settle the case, less than the $1.4 billion it feared it would have to pay last September.

It received a 25 percent discount for cooperating with the investigation and for its efforts to remedy its governance.

The figure comprises a $548 million fine, split equally between the DOJ and OM, plus a $417 million penalty for the gain of unlawful profits, known as a disgorgement, to the SEC.

The latter sum will be offset by up to $208.5 million against any further disgorgements obtained by the Swedish Prosecution Authority or Dutch authorities.

The former has already announced it will seek to recoup profits and said it also plans to prosecute three former, unnamed Telia employees.

Telia CEO Johan Dennelind said the settlement brought to an end “an unfortunate chapter” in the company’s history.

“Since 2013 the new board and management have worked diligently and responsibly to understand what went wrong, to remedy what has been broken and to regain trust from all our stakeholders,” he said.

“We have come a long way to establish a more sustainable company with a strong focus on governance and compliance but it is a never-ending journey as we aspire to embed this into our culture making sure that all employees understand the importance of doing the right thing all the time.”

Chair of the Board Marie Ehrling said the company had done “everything in its power” to take responsibility for its actions in Uzbekistan, including “solid sustainability work” and “major cultural changes”.

“Our ambition throughout the entire process has been to be as transparent as possible and to establish a trustful co-operation with the authorities in question.”

[Read more: Telia to cut 850 jobs as it registers Q2 loss]

VEON, then known as Vimpelcom, was also caught up in a corruption scandal over bribery in Uzbekistan.

It admitted wrongdoing in 2016 and paid a fine of $795 million.

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