Mabey and Johnson paid bribes overseas

By Steve Skinner10 July 2009

Mabey and Johnson has pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court in London, UK, to ten charges of corruption relating to contracts in Jamaica, Ghana and Iraq.The successful prosecution is the first of its kind against a UK company operating overseas.

UK-based temporary steel bridge manufacturer Mabey and Johnson's guilty plea follows voluntary disclosure to the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in 2008 after an internal investigation uncovered evidence of corruption.

These included paying more than US$ 0.2 million to Saddam Hussein's Iraq regime, violating the terms of the United Nations' oil for food programme.

Five of Mabey and Johnson's eight directors have stepped down since the case came to light early in 2008 and a new management team was installed last year by Mabey and Johnson's parent company.New managing director, Peter Lloyd said, "We deeply regret the past conduct of our company, and we have committed to making a fresh start following these offences."

Mabey and Johnson is expected to have to pay a fine plus costs follwoing its conviction, and this will be decided at a hearing later this year."We have also agreed to pay appropriate compensation as an expression of our regret," said Mr Lloyd.

"We and our lawyers have worked intensively with the SFO to enable these charges to be brought and a prosecution obtained. As a result, the case can be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible," he said.

Anti-corruption training has now taken place at Mabey and Johnson and an SFO-approved independent monitor will oversee and report on the company's future conduct.

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