March 31, 2016

Sweett Group ordered to pay £1.4m over hotel bribery case

Southwark Crown Court ordered Sweett Group to pay a penalty of £1.4million, while also imposing a £851,000 confiscation order.

The company had pleaded guilty to failing to prevent the bribery of an influential Arab businessman, following an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Court heard that the firm had been slow to act after irregularities were first pinpointed by auditors in 2010.

It later emerged that corrupt payments had been made to Khaled Al Badie, in order to secure work on a major hotel development in Dubai.

David Green, the SFO’s director, said the conviction sent a strong message.

“Acts of bribery by UK companies significantly damage this country’s commercial reputation,” he said.

“UK companies must take full responsibility for the actions of their employees and in their commercial activities act in accordance with the law.”

Following the sentencing, Sweett’s chief executive, Douglas McCormick, said that the company had strengthened its internal systems and could “look to the future with confidence.”

For advice on the Bribery Act and companies’ obligations under the legislation please contact Claus Andersen or visit.

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