Russian investigators have accused a senior IKEA manager of extorting 6.5 million rubles ($203,000) from a Russian businessman who wanted to rent retail space controlled by the Swedish company.
The “35-year-old national of Sweden” was part of an “organized international criminal gang” trying to force the businessman to pay the bribe to expedite a deal to rent out two premises in a shopping mall just outside of Moscow, a statement on the Interior Ministry’s website said.
The Swede, whose name was not given, was deliberately delaying negotiations over the lease when a 43-year-old “Turkish national” offered to help in exchange for a $360,000 bribe.
The original amount was later reduced to $225,000. The Turkish national was caught red-handed as the greater part of that amount was being handed over to him in a Moscow café.
The IKEA manager and a third member of the group are currently outside of Russia.
IKEA was not available for immediate comment.