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22 September 2014 0 Comments
Posted in Corporate & Commercial, Opinion

Multi-national accused of paying millions in bribes

Author headshot image Posted by , Partner

The British subsidiary of a Paris-based train and turbine maker, Alstom, paid around $8.5million in bribes to win transport contracts around the world, the British Serious Fraud Office alleged last week.

Alstom Network UK faces charges for six offences of corruption and conspiracy to corrupt, having allegedly paid money to win business in India, Poland and Tunisia between 2000 to 2006.

The investigation into their activities was triggered by information from the Swiss Attorney General, which ordered Alstom to pay 38.5 million Swiss francs ($41 million dollars) for corporate negligence in 2011 because it had failed to stop bribery.

Three executives of Alstom’s U.S. unit in Connecticut have since pleaded guilty and admitted paying bribes on behalf of the company. Four years ago, the Serious Fraud Office arrested three UK board members over allegations of bribery, money laundering and false accounting.

Alstom has insisted that the charges relate to past misconduct and said in a statement that it would seek “a fair and appropriate resolution of the allegations made.”

If convicted, Alstom Network UK faces substantial fines or a ban from competing for public contracts in the European Union.

The case got underway on September 9th 2014 and the next hearing will take place at Southwark Crown Court on October 6th.

This is another case which shows how serious the authorities take allegations of bribery and corruption.

If you have any questions about the consequences of bribery and corruption for your business please contact Claus Andersen on 020 7583 2222.


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