Bilfinger launch probe into bribe allegations

A German construction company has launched an investigation into claims some of their employees bribed FIFA World Cup officials in Brazil.

Bilfinger SE released a statement claiming their "suspicions have now been substantiated" in the early phases of the investigation, which saw the company hire auditors Ernst and Young, and Deloitte.

A law firm in Brazil was also called in to aid the investigation, which centres around how Bilfinger SE secured the rights to construct security centres in 12 host cities of the football showpiece.

"Bilfinger received internal information last year indicating that there may have been violations of the Group's compliance regulations in connection with orders for the supply of monitor walls for security control centres in several large municipalities in Brazil," the statement read. 

"The company immediately launched a comprehensive investigation. The allegation relates to suspected bribery payments from employees of a Bilfinger company in Brazil to public officials and employees of state companies."

Bilfinger Mauell, the subsidiary of the Group that manufactures power station technology and automation systems for power distribution, is reported to be at the centre of the bribing allegations, with Brazilian politicians and FIFA officials among those to have been financially swayed - according to German newspaper Bild.

FIFA responded by denying any of its staff had received illegal payments.

"Traffic control and security centers in the 12 FIFA 2014 World Cup venues was the responsibility of local governments," a statement read.

"Neither FIFA, nor their employees, were involved in the awarding of contracts for host cities or the federal government."