Suspicions of Rigged Markets: The Headquarters of the SNCF and other Sites of the Group Raided

SNCF headquarters raided

In 2017, the national financial prosecutor’s office launched a preliminary investigation into irregularities within a subsidiary of the SNCF group in connection with the American company IBM.

The head office of SNCF and other Group sites were searched Tuesday 4th June 2019 as part of a preliminary investigation into irregularities in a subsidiary of the group in connection with the US group of IBM, a we learned Wednesday from concordant sources.

The searches were held at the group’s headquarters in Saint-Denis, as well as in Lyon , according to sources familiar with the matter, confirming information from the Parisian.

n 2017, the national financial prosecutor’s office launched a preliminary inquiry following the filing of two complaints by an employee of the SNCF, assigned to the Purchasing Department in Lyon, alleging irregularities, particularly with regard to the awarding of contracts.

This employee, Denis Breteau, had filed the first complaint in October 2012 to denounce what he found irregularities within a subsidiary of the SNCF, the company Stelsia, in connection with the American group of IBM computer. But this one had been classified without continuation.

After a new complaint in 2013, the National Public Prosecutor’s Office launched in 2017 a preliminary investigation.

The partnership with IBM in the viewfinder

Between 2009 and 2011, SNCF and IBM had sealed an IT partnership that was expected to save money and increase the railroad group’s revenue.

The alliance between the two companies concluded at the end of 2009, saw the creation of the Stelsia subsidiary, 51% owned by SNCF and responsible for piloting the computer subcontracting of the railway undertaking. SNCF wanted to streamline its IT management and reduce costs.

But in December 2011, by mutual agreement, the SNCF and IBM had decided not to continue their partnership because of “contractual difficulties”, according to the unions.

Denounced since its establishment by the unions who feared relocations, this contract was to generate 1.7 billion euros in six years.

The railway company then took control of Stelsia.

In April 2019, the labour courts of Lyon had sentenced SNCF to reinstate Denis Breteau, dismissed in late 2018, to which they recognize the status of the whistleblower.

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