The World Bank has debarred Lahmeyer GmbH for bribing officials in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. Under terms of the sanction that the bank made public Nov. 6, the German engineering firm cannot work for the bank for seven years. Lahmeyer was indicted in 1999. Its subsequent conviction was upheld on appeal in 2004. Three other international firms already have been charged by the tiny African country in connection with bribes paid to Masupha Sole, the chief executive of the project owner, who was responsible for contract award and implementation: Canadian engineer Acres International, Italian contractor Impregilo and French consultant Spie Batignolles. International Rivers Network, a non-governmental organization that has been critical of the multibillion-dollar project, characterized the bank's action as "too little, too late."
World Bank Debars German Firm
November 13, 2006