In a short statement yesterday, Britain’s blue chip aero engine manufacturer – the second biggest in the world – announced that it had been informed that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had commenced a formal investigation into bribery and corruption in overseas markets.
Putting more flesh on the bones of the revelation that follows an earlier Rolls’ announcement about such concerns put out on December 7, the Daily Telegraph (http://bit.ly/1c2YAKX) says that the SFO had spent more than a year examining claims from a whistleblower over Rolls’ use of middle-men in winning multi-million pound contracts in Indonesia, China and elsewhere, dating back more than 20 years.
The Guardian (http://bit.ly/1e5qEwQ), pointing out that SFO director David Green had decided to step up its probe also pointed out that the announcement came in the same month that the SFO suffered another reversal, following a number of failed inquiries and trials.
Reporting on the earlier December 7 announcement, the Jakarta Post (http://bit.ly/1e7VLYz) pondered whether or not any misdemeanors were likely to be recent enough to face what it described as “the draconian British Bribery Act”.
It went on, “This law, which came into effect in July 2011, introduced a new offense of failure to prevent bribery, and clamps down on ‘facilitation payments’ and disproportionate hospitality to oil the wheels of business. “Companies can be handed unlimited fines if they cannot show they have “adequate procedures” to prevent bribery, while guilty individuals face up to 10 years in prison and unlimited fines.”