The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), in its largest individual investigation conducted to date, found Rolls-Royce liable for conspiracy to corrupt and failure to prevent bribery in seven countries. The SFO revealed 12 counts in Indonesia, Thailand, India, Russia, Nigeria, China, and Malaysia. Various cases of corruption or bribery included Rolls-Royce intermediaries.
In Thailand, Rolls-Royce agreed to pay $18.8 million to regional intermediaries, including agents of the State of Thailand and Thai Airways’ employees. The agents were expected to act in the manufacturer’s favour in relation to a purchase of T800 engines by Thai Airways.
A £671 million deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) was secured by the SFO with Rolls-Royce. Former SFO head of anti-corruption Robert Amaee stated, “[t]his is the third and most significant DPA secured by the SFO, and is the largest penalty ever levied by the SFO in a bribery matter”.
The High Court in London ruled that they must pay £497 million, plus interest and costs, in settlement of claims, which the SFO has been investigating since 2012. They have said it will also pay $141 million to the United States Department of Justice and a further £21.5 million to Brazilian regulators.
The DPA allows Rolls-Royce to make full restorations for criminal behaviour without the collateral damage of a conviction. The company’s chief executive Warren East said, “[t]he behaviour uncovered is completely unacceptable and we apologise unreservedly”. He also stated, “[t]he past practices uncovered do not reflect Rolls-Royce business today”.