World Bank bans Spanish, Chinese and Indonesian firms over fraud

Three infrastructure companies from, respectively, Spain, China and Indonesia have been debarred by the World Bank after investigations into fraudulent practices.

They are Spanish water company Aqualia Intech SA, state-owned Chinese contractor China Railway First Group Co Ltd, and Indonesian construction company PT Suburo Jayana Indah Corp (Sujainco).

The World Bank said Aqualia Intech misrepresented the composition and the roles of three companies in a consortium picked for a World Bank-financed river improvement scheme in Bogotá, Colombia. 

Aqualia Intech cannot bid for World Bank-financed projects for a year, a reduced period of sanction in light of what the bank called the company’s "extraordinary cooperation". It will complete the river improvement scheme.   

China Railway First Group was debarred for two years in connection with fraudulent practices under the Dasu Hydropower Stage I Project in Pakistan.

The bank said the company engaged in multiple misrepresentations during the bidding process for four contracts – two of which it won in 2015 – including failing to disclose subcontracted work, a subcontractor and an agent it used in bidding for one of the contracts.

If the company complies with the terms of its settlement agreement, after 18 months it will be eligible to have its debarment converted to a conditional non-debarment for a further minimum period of six months.

Indonesian company Sujainco was debarred for two years for colluding with a third party to arrange for other bidders to submit artificial and non-competitive bids to rehabilitate an irrigation management system in Indonesia.

Sujainco won the contract, but the third party did the work under Sujainco’s name without obtaining the proper approvals. Sujainco also submitted fraudulent documents to collect payments during contract implementation.

The three debarrments were announced on 18 September.

Image: The World Bank Group headquarters in Washington, D.C. (AgnosticPreachersKid/CC BY-SA 3.0)

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