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BAE to pay 450 million dollars in fines to settle corruption charges

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-05

Britain's defence giant BAE system announced Friday it will pay fines to settle corruption charges with Britain's Serious Fraud Office (BSFO) and the US Department of Justice. The total amount of the fines will reach about 450 million dollars.

AFP - Defence giant BAE Systems said Friday it had agreed to pay fines of nearly 450 million dollars to settle corruption charges with Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the US Department of Justice.

The fines -- 400 million dollars to the DoJ, and 30 million pounds (47 million dollars) to the SFO -- are in connection with investigations launched in the United States in 2007, and in Britain in 2004.

Under the US deal, BAE has agreed to plead guilty to one charge of conspiring to make false statements to the US government concerning certain regulatory filings and undertakings.

The DoJ accused the firm of making hundreds of millions of dollars in payments to third parties, in the knowledge that the money would very likely be handed over to people to favour BAE in the awarding of defence contracts.

It claimed BAE had before that intentionally failed to put appropriate anti-bribery measures into place despite assurances to Washington that it would -- and afterwards, failed to inform US authorities about the payments.

Under the British deal, BAE said it would plead guilty to one charge of breach of duty to keep accounting records concerning payments made to a former marketing advisor in Tanzania over the sale of a radar system in 1999.

The commission payments were not properly recorded, and BAE "failed to scrutinise these records adequately to ensure that they were reasonably accurate and permitted them to remain uncorrected", the firm's chairman Dick Olver said in a statement.

He concluded: "The company very much regrets and accepts full responsibility for these past shortcomings."

BAE will pay the 30 million pounds as a charitable payment for the benefit of Tanzania.
 

Date created : 2010-02-05

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