Sectors - Written by on Friday, October 28, 2011 1:05 - 0 Comments

SFO looking at high risk sectors & countries in Bribery Act enforcement

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We wrote recently that Richard Alderman, Director of the SFO had hinted that Bribery Act cases were now being considered by the SFO.

In the same speech he spoke of the SFO’s enforcement approach.  He said:

“…the Act came into force on July 1st and so it is a relatively new piece of legislation. It is not retrospective and so it will apply only to bribes paid after July 1st. We look for serious and complex cases and so it is likely that these cases will take some time to develop. But please be under no illusions here.  We are out there actively looking for suitable cases…We are looking as well at high risk areas, whether in terms of the countries or the sectors involved in order to target our approaches for evidence.

The SFO is using various means to detect violations of the Bribery Act.  However, the focus on sectors and high risk countries is predictable.  It is also being executed.

The news this week that three former senior executives of Innospec (a business which operates in the Oil industry) have been charged in respect of activities alleged to have taken place in Indonesia and Iraq or that in other charges brought this week against Victor Dahdaleh involving the Aluminium industry the FT reports that an adviser to Bahrain’s prime minister, is accused by the SFO of receiving bribes from Mr.Dahdaleh – underscores the point.

Which sectors and countries?

These should not be too hard to guess.  The SFO have given thinly veiled warnings to certain industries, for example in a speech a year ago the SFO warned the pharmaceutical industry following a similar warning given by the US DOJ.

We anticipate that industries which feature high on the list of various corruption indices or previous anti-corruption enforcement will feature.

Similarly, we anticipate that US enforcement trends will be a strong bell weather for UK enforcement.

Organisations whose businesses operate in risky geographic locations or sectors should waste no time in addressing these issues.

Image © Crown Copyright 2011


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