Sweett Group fined £2.25 million after bribery act conviction
Construction and professional services company Sweett Group plc was sentenced Friday in London and ordered to pay £2.25 million ($3.15 million) for bribing an official in the United Arab Emirates.
The company pleaded guilty in December 2015 to a charge of failing to prevent an act of bribery intended to secure and retain a contract with Al Ain Ahlia Insurance Company (AAAI), contrary to Section 7(1)(b) of the Bribery Act 2010.
The offenses occurred between December 2012 and December 2015.
SFO director David Green said Friday:
- “This conviction and punishment, the SFO’s first under section 7 of the Bribery Act, sends a strong message that UK companies must take full responsibility for the actions of their employees and in their commercial activities act in accordance with the law.”
The SFO announced in July 2014 that it had opened an investigation.
The investigation found that a Sweett Group subsidiary, Cyril Sweett International Limited, made corrupt payments to Khaled Al Badie – He was
- Then the vice chairman of AAAI and chaired AAAI’s real estate and investment committee.
- The payments were intended to secure a contract with AAAI for the building of the Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi, [the SFO said]
- Abu Dhabi owns part of AAAI.
The court Friday fined London-based Sweett Group:
- £1.4 million ($2 million), and
- assessed about £851,000 ($1.2 million) in confiscation.
The court also award the SFO costs of about £95,000 ($136,000).
The SFO said its “investigation into individuals continues.”