New York - Walmart, the world's biggest retailer, on Thursday said it has launched a global investigation into possible acts of corruption by employees that would violate US laws that ban bribery overseas.
The company made the information public in a report to the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). Walmart also said that it had contacted the justice department concerning its probe.
"Over the last few years we have regularly implemented a series of changes to our US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance programmes to make them even more effective," Walmart spokesperson David Tovar said in a statement.
Any individual or entity found guilty of violating the FCPA is subject to prosecution in the United States.
"As part of that effort earlier this year, we initiated a worldwide review of our anti-corruption programmes."
Following information "obtained during that review and from other sources, we have begun an internal investigation related to compliance with the FCPA".
The company investigation "is currently focused on discrete incidents in specific areas. We intend to keep federal authorities appraised of what we learn", Tovar said.
The statement said Walmart had "decided it was appropriate to disclose the internal investigation to our shareholders".