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Thai graft case shows the lure of bustling Asian market

Under the gun, executives at Mitsubishi Hitachi Power allegedly took a risk

Pressure to complete a Thai power plant project on time likely made Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems vulnerable to bribe seekers.
Pressure to complete a Thai power plant project on time likely made Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems vulnerable to bribe seekers.

TOKYO -- Intense pressure to deliver on a key project in Thailand likely drove former executives at Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems to pay off a local official in a case that resulted in Japan's first plea deal. 

The individuals apparently took the risk despite the prospect of heavy penalties. The episode also highlights growing ingenuity on the part of officials seeking bribes and fierce competition in the booming Southeast Asian market for power plant construction.

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