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Wal-Mart India unit suspends CFO, others pending bribery probe

Nov 26 2012 Reuters

The Indian joint venture of Wal-Mart Stores Inc has suspended its chief financial officer and other employees as it investigates alleged violations of U.S. anti-bribery laws, a development that could hamper India's efforts to open its domestic supermarket sector to foreign investment. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, said last week it has opened internal inquiries or investigations into bribery allegations in a number of countries including Brazil, China and India, which follows an earlier probe in Mexico. "The suspension is a routine global practice followed in such investigations," an official at the Indian unit said, declining to be named. "We cannot carry out a fair investigation when the people we are investigating are in office. What we must not forget is they are innocent until proven guilty," the person said. Separately, a spokeswoman for the joint venture confirmed the suspensions and said the venture was "committed to conducting a complete and thorough

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