Bombardier is a Canadian transportation conglomerate that controls Bombardier Transportation, a Swedish engineering firm and one of the world’s largest producers of railway signaling equipment. Bombardier technology makes the trains run from Eurasia to Latin America, and its globe-spanning business shows no signs of slowing down.
But after a months-long joint investigation based on secret internal documents, reporters from OCCRP, SVT “Uppdrag Granskning,” TT, and Radio Canada can reveal some unpleasant truths. It turns out that Bombardier Transportation owes some of its success to a corrupt partnership with a small group of powerful people close to Vladimir Yakunin, the former head of Russian Railways.
In the following days, we will publish a series of stories that demonstrate how Bombardier’s collusion with “the Partners,” as its employees call the Russians, allow it to win lucrative tenders across the former Soviet Union. The deals involve shadowy shell companies, grossly inflated prices, and bribes of senior government officials. “It’s like a Russian doll -- there is layer upon layer,” says a well-known anticorruption expert. In modern global business, sometimes it’s what’s underneath the surface that counts.