Arrests in connection with bribery investigation.
The arrests are the preliminary result of a formal investigation into “concerns about bribery and corruption in overseas markets” which had been started by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) some time ago. The agency recently asked the government for an additional 19 million pounds of funding to help pay for the work associated with such cases.
Rolls-Royce identified “matters of concern” in 2012 in China and Indonesia in a review as a response to an inquiry from the SFO. The company has named David Gold, previously a partner at the law firm Herbert Smith LLP, to review anti-corruption procedures.
The company has declined to comment on the arrests and searches. The SFO advised that it was assisted by officers from the National Crime Agency and the City of London Police.
This case illustrates that businesses situated in England with activities overseas can become subject of an investigation by UK authorities, because of actions which take place overseas. Therefore, such businesses must make sure that their business procedures do not contravene the Bribery Act.
This is also a case that shows how serious authorities take bribery and corruption allegations. In 2011 the Bribery Act came into force in the UK. It imposes strict obligations on businesses active in the UK to implement adequate measures to prevent bribery. The Bribery Act applies to all businesses with activity in the United Kingdom regardless of whether the business is set up or incorporated in the United Kingdom.
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