The treasurer of the South Korean subsidiary of ABB Ltd. disappeared just before the company discovered a US$100 million shortfall in last year’s results.
In a statement, the company said the treasurer had been missing since February 7, and that "a sophisticated criminal scheme related to a significant embezzlement and misappropriation of funds" had been uncovered.
"ABB has initiated mitigating actions to reduce the impact of this criminal activity on its results significantly including recovery of misappropriated funds, legal claims and insurances," the company said in a statement.
The company further said that the treasurer had been "forging documentation and colluding with third parties to steal from the company." The Swiss-Swedish engineering giant says it has immediately launched a full investigation and was working with local police and Interpol to resolve the matter.
The company said it had checked and reconfirmed the balance of its global bank accounts and had determined that the embezzlement was limited to South Korea.
"ABB has a zero-tolerance approach to unethical behavior and maintains the highest standards regarding integrity and ethical business practices," it stated.