Panalpina’ s “World Wide Web”


Ed. Note-we continue our guests posts from Mary Jones who today looks at the world wide web in the context of one of the most significant companies which have been involved in FCPA enforcement actions-Panalpina

On November 12, 1990, Sir. Tim Berners-Lee with help from Robert Cailiau published a formal proposal for the World Wide Web in Switzerland. Today, twenty-two years later- we look at a different world wide web, one which ensnarled a Switzerland based company named “Panalpina”.

According to the Department of Justice, Basel, Switzerland based Panalpina World Transport “is one of the world’s leading suppliers of forwarding and logistics services, specializing in global supply chain management solutions and intercontinental air freight and ocean freight shipments and associated supply chain management solutions.” It operates “a close-knit network with some 500 branches in over 80 countries,” does business in a further 80 countries with partner companies, and employs approximately 15,000 individuals. The criminal information focuses on a “network of local subsidiaries … each of which was responsible for providing the freight forwarding and logistics services to customers and for coordinating with other Panalpina-affiliated companies with respect to the transportation and shipment of cargo from abroad.” In addition, PWT and its subsidiaries “provided customers with importation, customs clearance and ground shipment services once the shipped goods reached their destination jurisdiction.” The subsidiaries under investigation were from the U.S., Nigeria, Angola, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan (hence my reference to the “world wide web”!)

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