International - Written by on Sunday, July 7, 2013 8:42 - 0 Comments

The Bribery Act two years on. All hat & no cows? As SFO & City Of London Police confirm over 30 investigations – the stats tell a different story.

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No corporate prosecutions

plus

three prosecutions of individuals: a cab driver, a junior Ministry of Justice court clerk and a student at Bath University

=

doesn’t add up to much two years on.

Say some.

On other hand we have been constant in our view that the Bribery Act represents a sea change for corporates and corporate crime in the UK.

Plenty focus on the lack of a corporate prosecution against a backdrop of the hubris two years ago when the Bribery Act entered into force.

This is wishful thinking at best and kidology at worst.

Speaking recently Kevin Davis, Chief Investigating Officer of the Serious Fraud Office, confirmed that the SFO has ‘accepted’ two cases for formal investigation under the Bribery Act with a further six cases on the books at an earlier stage, (likely under the pre-investigation Section 2A powers of the Criminal Justice Act).  At the same presentation Mr.Davis, addressing those critical of the lack of prosecutions under the Bribery Act told critics to bide their time noting it took five years after the FCPA before the prosecutions got going.

The SFO’s figures should not be looked at in isolation.

On Thursday last week the City of London Police confirmed:

“Some 25 individual cases of bribery are currently being investigated by the City of London Police and since the inception of the Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit in 2006 (OACU), 28 suspects and one corporate entity have been charged. Individuals in breach of the current legislation face up to 10 years in prison and companies risk unlimited fines.”

Earlier this year the City of London Police had confirmed that Bribery Act 2010 cases had started to filter through into their case load with an un-named source telling ‘Compliance Complete’ that the City of London Police’s specialist team of 12 was starting to see cases. “[Cases] are starting to come through now, but normally you have an 18-month to two-year drag on a lot of the investigations. We are just coming up to that period now and they are starting to filter through.”

It would be a mistake to ignore these facts.

Sadly, many will.

 

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