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SSAB’s Hidden Russian Deal Through Uzbekistan Exposed

SSAB’s Russian Dealings Unearthed

Swedish steel giant SSAB insisted their shipments to Russia had ceased. However, a shocking revelation painted a contradictory picture. Autonomous middlemen in Uzbekistan were promptly supplying Swedish steel to Russian businessmen. This disclosure led to SSAB halting business ties with companies across three different countries.

SSAB and Russian Deals: The Background

During the announcement of their record revenue of 29.3 billion kronor, SSAB’s CEO, Martin Lindqvist, stated that despite the world’s ongoing turmoil, things were going well for SSAB. That statement was made amid heightened confusion following Russia’s violent war against Ukraine – an event that was also impacting various Swedish corporates, including SSAB.

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Post the start of the war, SSAB announced that its shipments and sales to Russia and Belarus had ceased. However, a closer look at SSAB’s activities paints a different picture, leading to a shocking discovery of intermediaries in Uzbekistan and a karaoke bar in Kazakhstan!

SSAB’s Secret Routes to Russia

A data review from the Russian customs authorities revealed how products from Swedish corporate giants, including SSAB, had continued their journey to Russia. Befuddling revelations include previously unknown middlemen, simultaneous shell company activities, and even covert operations hidden behind establishments such as a karaoke bar in Kazakhstan.

“We’ve acted as Russian businessmen looking for SSAB’s steel products.”

Three different companies in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan – all three flagged as critical for bypassing sanctions against Russia – have been intermediaries in shipping SSAB’s steel to Russia. In an undercover sting operation, pretending to be Russian businessmen, a direct line of communication was established with the Uzbekistani company for first-hand insights.

Now, SSAB’s questionable operations have been brought to public attention. Ultimately, whether SSAB knowingly or unwittingly dealt with Russia remains an open question. However, upon discovery and accusations, SSAB has severed its relationships with all companies involved, across the three countries.

An Unusual Place: Holiday Karaoke Bar

SSAB’s business trails also lead us to an unexpected spot – the ‘Holiday Karaoke’ bar in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city. This location houses not just karaoke enthusiasts but also one of the excited customers of SSAB. However, beyond the gaudy neon signs and a storage facility for food delivery, there was no evidence of any apparent steel business.

“We’ve found a ‘red flag’ that prevents them from being eligible for more shipments from us.”

SSAB’s leadership had initially dismissed the findings, claiming they had tightened measures to prevent their steel from reaching Russia. However, learning about the Uzbekistani company’s candid admission of using SSAB’s steel complicated SSAB’s initial stance. Consequently, SSAB has decided to suspend all business relations with all implicated companies.

Wrapping Up

Shocking revelations have shown how a Swedish steel giant, SSAB, was indirectly doing business with Russia amidst the war against Ukraine. The expose also highlighted the role of middlemen based in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan in these dealings. Even though SSAB has now cut off all business ties with these countries, the incident has shed light on the covert operations taking place beneath the surface.

Even as we are caught up in the flashy world of karaoke bars and undercover operations, one thing remains certain – the corporate world often holds secrets far too complex and intricate than one can imagine. With SSAB’s shocking dealings now in broad daylight, we are left to ponder: how many more skeletons are there in the corporate closet?

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