Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime - Written by on Sunday, April 27, 2014 4:25 - 0 Comments

City of London Police Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit puts out bribery consequences video. Announces launch of whistle blow template.

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Focus is frequently on the UK’s Serious Fraud Office as the enforcer when it comes to overseas corruption.  However, the City of London Police, Overseas Anti Corruption Unit (OACU), is also a major UK player.  It is wholly funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) (which is a significant funder of overseas aid projects) and has a global remit to investigate allegations of UK companies and individuals involved in Bribery in developing countries overseas.

The COLP website also says that, “another role of the unit is engagement with commercial organisations. We recognise the importance of these partnerships/relationships and are eager to assist in regard to clarifying questions about the Act, its practicable application and offering crime prevention advice.”

This video is part of that engagement.  You can work out for yourself how helpful you think it is.  As the COLP website says “it doesn’t talk about the law, but instead demonstrates the impact that a corruption investigation could have on companies and individuals who ignore the Act and break the law.”

COLP also announced that they would shortly be producing a “reporting template on how [to] report any Bribery & Corruption suspicions.”

Commander Steve Head said:

“Many of you may have heard it said that corruption is a ‘victimless crime’; I can assure you it isn’t. It differs from most other crimes in that most of the victims are abroad and are often unaware of the offence. But, the corrosive effect that this type of offence can have on society and on the rule of law cannot be underestimated. We regularly engage with our International partners and colleagues assisting them in the pursuit of offenders. The consequences on individuals within the UK are also significant so please take the time to watch/use the video. We would welcome any feedback you have, so we can provide further meaningful crime prevention material or advice that will assist you in the future. Commercial reputations take many years of hard work to establish, but can literally be lost overnight through lack of adequate procedures and governance, please don’t be that company.”

 Opinion

COLP are involved in many of the UK bribery cases  and COLP is the National Lead Police Force for Fraud hosting one of the largest fraud investigation capabilities in the UK.  COLP frequently works with the SFO on fraud cases and will, for example, accompany the SFO on raids.

For all those focussing on the SFO, the video is a useful reminder of the importance of the City of London Police when it comes to enforcement of the Bribery Act in international corruption cases.

Please don’t be lulled into a completely false sense of security!

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