UK Fraud office to pursue corrupt foreign firms

| 27/03/2011

(Guardian): The head of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is at loggerheads with ministers who are seeking to exempt overseas companies from Britain’s new Bribery Act. Speaking at an anti-corruption conference in Russia last week, Richard Alderman said he wanted the act to have a "wide jurisdiction", allowing the SFO to pursue overseas companies listed in the UK – even if they had little business activity here – whenever it was in Britain’s public interest. He said the SFO would go after corrupt foreign firms where it was clear they had won business that would otherwise have gone to a British firm. Anti-fraud experts are concerned that the justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, is seeking to rein in the scope of the act and, in doing so, is exceeding his powers.

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