Uber has given US investigators details of payments the firm made to authorities in Asia, as the US Department of Justice (DOJ) looks into whether Uber violated anti-bribery laws.
Bloomberg and Reuters both reported that the American ride-hailing company has been looking into multiple payments in Indonesia, Malaysia, and elsewhere.
The DOJ’s investigation into potential foreign bribes at Uber first became public knowledge in August — the latest in a lengthy line of scandals and legal headaches for the beleaguered transportation firm.
According to Bloomberg, Uber has been investigating “suspicious activity” in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Korea with the aid of law firm O’Melveny & Myers. The DOJ is looking into potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids US companies from paying bribes to foreign officials.
Uber staff allegedly made payments to police officers in Asia to keep operating following a dispute over the location of its offices, according to both reports. Uber has passed details of these payments to the DOJ, and fired one employee responsible, the reports say. The head of Uber’s Indonesian operations, Alan Jiang, has been placed on a leave of absence, Reuters and Bloomberg both reported.
In another incident reported by Bloomberg, Uber allegedly donated tens of thousands of dollars to a Malaysian entrepreneur hub, the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre, a year before the Malaysian government passed new ride-hailing laws that were beneficial to Uber. (The Malaysian organisation denies “involvement in any quid-pro-quo arrangements.”)
Uber did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
The company is still reeling from a chain of scandals that began with a former employee accusing the company of sexism and discrimination, and culminated in the firing of founder and CEO Travis Kalanick.
O’Melveny & Myers is also helping investigate how an Uber executive got hold of the medical files of a passenger who was raped by an Uber driver in India. The executive, who has since left the company, kept the files for months.
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