The trial began on Monday in Versailles of former executives of the French arm of Swedish retailer IKEA, as well as the corporate entity itself, on charges of spying on the private lives of hundreds of staff, in a scandal first revealed by Mediapart eight years ago.
French prosecutors have recommended that the French subsidiary of Swedish home furnishings chain Ikea, several members of its former management and four French police officers should stand trial for their involvement in a system of espionnage targeting company staff and clients.
In the unfolding scandal of how Swedish furniture retail giant Ikea spied on its staff and customers in France, Mediapart has now obtained new evidence of how the chain engaged in illegally obtaining personal information about customers who lodged minor complaints with its stores over faulty goods - one involving a 200-euro cupboard - or delayed deliveries of their purchases. The cases again include the accessing of personal data from national French police files, and which could only be obtained by corrupting law enforcement officials. Mathilde Mathieu and Michaël Hajdenberg report.
In a significant development of the spying scandal engulfing Swedish furniture retail giant Ikea, Mediapart has exclusively obtained evidence that the managing director of Ikea France personally took part in an underhand espionage operation that illegally trawled for information into the personal life of one of the company’s senior staff. Documents accessed by Mediapart and published here reveal how Jean-Louis Baillot, head of the company’s French operations from 1996 to 2009, and who is now Ikea’s director for international commercial operations, was aware, approved of and encouraged the surveillance methods used by Ikea France security chief Jean-François Paris to hound and bait the company’s deputy director of communications and interior store planning, Virginie Paulin. Fabrice Arfi, Michaël Hajdenberg and Mathilde Mathieu report.
by Fabrice Arfi, Michaël Hajdenberg and Mathilde Mathieu
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