19th January 2018, London – Commenting on an announcement by the Serious Fraud Office that it is investigating Chemring Group PLC, a British Defence Company, for corruption, money laundering and bribery, Andrew Watson, Head of Industry Integrity at Transparency International Defence and Security, said:
“It is disappointing to see another British defence company facing fresh allegations of systemic and widespread corruption, highlighting the very real challenges facing this unique sector.”
“Once again, intermediaries – long established as one of the highest corruption risks in defence commerce – are at the heart of these allegations.”
“Whilst it is encouraging that the company reportedly discovered the allegations themselves during an internal audit and that it was then self-reported to the SFO, we call for the company to fully cooperate with investigators and conduct an internal review of its anti-bribery procedures to discover what went wrong and why it wasn’t discovered before now. It’s vital that this investigation is thorough and perpetrators are brought to justice, no matter how high-up in the company they may be.”
Chemring scored a C in the Transparency Internationals most recent Defence Companies Anti-Corruption Index, meaning there is “moderate evidence” that they have anti-corruption measures.
Transparency International’s 2016 report “License to Bribe” identified the significant risks in the use of third parties and agents in arms deals, one area reported to be the subject of this investigation.
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