Telecom giant Ericsson sought permission from the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to work in an ISIS-controlled city and paid protection money to smuggle equipment through ISIS-held zones on a route known as the “Speedway,” according to a leaked internal investigation.
The report obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reveals Ericsson made tens of millions of dollars in suspicious payments in Iraq, financing slush funds, trips abroad for defense officials, and payoffs to executives at corporate customers and possibly terrorists.
These documents provided the basis of ICIJ’s Ericsson List investigation.
The documents show that company executives dismissed internal recommendations to halt operations in the country after ISIS fighters swept in. They reveal that Ericsson asked a partner to seek “permission from ‘local authority ISIS’” to continue to work in the terrorist-controlled city of Mosul and that an unvetted transportation contractor paid protection money to militias to avoid Iraqi government customs taxes by hauling Ericsson equipment through ISIS-controlled areas.
The extraordinary information in the documents was kept hidden from the public by Ericsson until ICIJ and its media partners approached the company with questions about them in recent weeks.
Also published on Medium.