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Bribery, Corruption and Plunder

Foster Wheeler Limited a UK registered subsidiary of a complex group, part of which is listed on the USA's NASDAQ and therefore falls within the jurisdiction of many US laws even though it is a Swiss domiciled subsidiary of a UK group. Amongst those is the Foreign Corrupt Payments Act or FCPA. This relates to payments by a person with a US footprint making corrupt payments to persons outside the USA. Foster Wheeler Energy Limited is also part of the same group and is also a UK registered company. That brings its actions squarely within the remit of the Serious Fraud Office, regardless of where those actions take place. Moreover, there are agreements with Ministério Público Federal (‘MPF’), the Comptroller General’s Office (‘CGU’) and the Solicitor General (‘AGU’) in Brazil.

One can understand the logic - the Malaysian government has a tendency to make its laws out of the public eye, then to announce an in-force date and then, when everyone moans they aren't ready, to postpone it. Getting a postponement works for e.g. so-called "e-hailing" drivers. The public likes them and so a few hashtags go a long way. But there is little public sympathy for companies and even less when there is a suggestion that the new law is designed to reduce corruption.

Some years ago, we asked a question : how come a new team with no track record can get sponsorship from major corporations when more established teams, with a track record, struggle?

Now, by a roundabout way, that question might be under investigation by anti-corruption authorities in several countries.

The Basel Institute on Governance has had an interesting idea. Is it more than a pipedream?

In Australia and elsewhere, the multitude of actions relating to bribery and corruption at Leighton Holdings (see here ) continues in both the criminal and civil courts.

hahagotcha