Rolls Royce bribery allegations

I’m not sure about this at all:

The Serious Fraud Office has launched a formal investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption at engine maker Rolls-Royce that could lead to criminal prosecutions.

Sure, I know that bribery is illegal now. Can’t remember the name of the damn fool law but I know that it is.

Britain’s fraud-busting agency has 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.

Among the claims from whistleblower Dick Taylor, a former employee, was the allegation that the engine maker had handed a $20m (£12.2m) bribe and a blue Rolls–Royce car to Tommy Suharto, the youngest son of the late Indonesian dictator.

It was for his help, it was claimed, in persuading the country’s flag–carrier Garuda to buy Rolls’ Trent 700 engine for Airbus A330 aircraft in 1990.

But I’m also pretty sure that bribery, in foreign of course, was not illegal under UK law back then. Might well have been illegal under Chinese, Indonesian law, but the UK attitude back a while was that that’s just what happens in these sorts of places so as far as we’re concerned, fine.

So, does anyone know whether I’m recalling things correctly?

8 thoughts on “Rolls Royce bribery allegations”

  1. Oh this is interesting.
    Does this mean we get to look at payments made on behalf of HM Gov around foreign parts? There’s tales of wads of wonga being handed round in Iraq & Afghanistan, for a start. Plus the money goes Pakistan way & finds itself in certain pockets.
    Or is this all ‘diplomacy’.

  2. I don’t understand why our authorities should waste time investigating something that happened (or not) in a foreign nation. Nor why we should have a law designed to control behaviour in another nation.
    It’s the other nation’s problem to initiate enforcement of their own laws and ask for help from us if they need it.

  3. Woodsy42, it’s just part of the inherent racism of the left. You see, according to them, darkies aren’t capable of upholding their own laws.

  4. I think the general principle is that the law cannot be changed retrospectively – so you are right. The other point, if it gets that far, is that it is an alleged bribe. Proving that it is a bribe would be interesting.

  5. I’m guessing it’s the Bribery (Cut Nose Off To Spite Face) Act 2010, so most of this stuff ‘more than twenty years’ ago would not be covered, at least under the UK law of the time.

    Even nowadays its a damn stupid law to apply to UK companies operating outside the UK. In some countries, it’s not ‘bribery’, it’s just business.

  6. But I’m also pretty sure that bribery, in foreign of course, was not illegal under UK law back then. Might well have been illegal under Chinese, Indonesian law, but the UK attitude back a while was that that’s just what happens in these sorts of places so as far as we’re concerned, fine.

    As I recall bribing Johnny Foreigner was against the law but there were defences e.g. along the lines of “that’s how it’s done over there”. That’s how that chap got off the other week.

    The Bribery Act consolidated bribery law which was spread out among a couple of Prevention of Corruption Acts and common law, and got rid of that defence.

  7. Aren’t lefties always babbling on about how British manufacturing is in decline and how we should be doing more to boost the export of British goods to match those of Germany, etc.? And then they pick one of the success stories and start launching criminal investigations. You can be sure as hell French companies don’t have to worry about this sort of thing.

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