Ikea Probes Allegations over Romania Payments

Swedish furniture group Ikea, whose flatpack furniture has gained an international market, is investigating allegations that payments it made in the 1980s were used to fund Romania’s communist-era secret police.

UK daily
The Guardian
said that it had seen declassified documents from the National College for Studying the Securitate Archives (CNSAS) in Bucharest reportedly showing that Ikea paid over the odds for products made in Romania, with a number of overpayments directed to an account managed by the Securitate, dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s notorious secret police agency.

The documents suggest Ikea was complicit in the arrangement. The Swedish group has denied complicity, but launched an internal investigation into the issue and said it was unaware of the Securitate’s involvement in its commercial operations.

“We’re looking to see if there is any basis for these claims and if so, what the reason could be,” company spokeswoman Josefin Thorell was quoted as saying by the
Wall Street Journal
.

The
Guardian
report suggests that the Securitate ‘skimmed money’ off a deal involving unorthodox financial arrangements that Ikea had in place with state-run timber firm Tehnoforestexport in the 1980s. “From what we can tell today, we can’t see that we’ve had any dealings with the secret police whatsoever. Our only point of contact was Technoforest,” Thorell said.

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