Rolls-Royce fined AUD$1.1 billion in bribery and corruption crackdown

Rolls-Royce has been fined in a bribery and corruption case.

Rolls-Royce has paid $1.1 billion to settle bribery and corruption investigations with authorities in Britain, the United States and Brazil.

The investigation into Rolls-Royce by the US Department of Justice and the UK Serious Fraud Office came following a joint exposé from Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post into Unaoil, a Monaco-based oil industry fixer.

The wide-ranging bribery and corruption investigations revealed that billions of dollars in government contracts were awarded to a number of companies, including Rolls-Royce and an offshore arm of Australian company Leighton Holdings (now CIMIC), as a direct result of bribes.

The US and UK fines were the result of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) whereby a company can admit corruption but not face court. For Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), it was the biggest settlement to date.

Australian authorities are involved in an ongoing global joint investigation with the FBI, US Department of Justice and the SFO into pervasive bribery in the oil industry, particularly involving Unaoil.

The Australian Federal Government is now considering introducing a DPA scheme following the settlement successes in the Rolls-Royce case.

This is not the first bribery and corruption scandal that Rolls-Royce has faced. Increasingly serious regulations and ongoing global cooperation in bribery and corruption investigations, highlight the importance of all organisations tackling bribery and corruption throughout their operations.

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