UK’s Serious Fraud Office probes Roll-Royce for bribery

24 Dec 2013


The defence and areopspace giant, Rolls-Royce is under investiagation by the UK's, Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over allegations of bribery and corruption.

The move comes a year after the company admitted that to be in talks with the SFO over allegations made on the internet. At that time the company said, ''It is too early to predict the outcomes, but these could include the prosecution of individuals and of the company.''

According to commentators, the SFO's move suggests it believed it had found sufficient evidence to lauunch a more detailed investigation.

The investigation is said to have started around alleged bribes paid by intermediaries to local companies in Indonesia and China which provided sales, distribution, repair and servicing.

The company's internal investigation in 2012 pointed to the possibility of similar infringements of bribery and corruption laws several other countries. A number of allegations go back to over 10 years.

While the company offered no further comment, an SFO spokesman confirmed that the office had oppened a criminal investigation.

The 2010 Bribery Act, gives the SFO powers to investigate and prosecute corruption at home or abroad. Companies need to alert the SFO, with evidence of wrong doing, to be considered for immunity.

The world's second-largest maker of aircraft engines, had last December said, it had passed information to the SFO relating to bribery and corruption involving intermediaries in overseas markets.

The company had said at the time that it could face prosecution over the allegations.

Irish Independent quoted Ben Bourne, Liberum analyst as  saying this was just the next step in the process. The findings of the internal probe by the company are under review by the SFO.

Tommy Suharto, the youngest son of Indonesia's late president, in November denied allegations of receiving bribes from Rolls-Royce.

The newspaper quoted a source as saying last December that the allegations related to the "distant past".

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