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Intel India fires 250 alleged fraudsters

Widespread expenses fiddling, reports suggest

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Intel has sacked up to 250 workers in India after alleging they fiddled their expenses claims, reports from the sub-continent suggest.

According to a story in the Times of India yesterday, the firings followed an internal audit of expenses claims.

The report implies bad employee practices like "faking bills to claim your allowances like conveyance [and] drivers’ salaries" are endemic in Indian business, but Intel, for one, isn't having any of it, and has for the past few months been monitoring expense claims.

The probe was conducted as part of Intel's internal Business Practice Excellence programme, an initiative put in place in 2003 to keep the chip giant's corporate nose clean in an era of ever-greater public scrutiny of big business' behaviour.

One element of the programme Intel stresses is employee rights, but clearly it believes they come with responsibilities too. Hence, it seems, the clamp-down in India.

The investigation may have lasted for months, but the lay-offs appear to have taken place unexpectedly. "It was like they are working with us one day, and are suddenly not there from the day after," one employee told the paper. ®

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