Rolls-Royce hired a network of agents to help it land lucrative contracts in at least 12 different countries, according to an investigation.
The investigation by the Guardian and the BBC has uncovered leaked documents and testimony from insiders that suggest that Rolls-Royce may have benefited from the use of illicit payments to boost profits for years. Agencies in the UK and US are now investigating the claims.
Rolls-Royce, which sells turbines and engines for passenger jets and military aircraft is worth an estimated £13bn. It has said it is cooperating with the authorities but one question that needs answering is how was this allowed to happen?
Any company faced with allegations of widespread bribery – and there have been many in recent years – need to be taking a very close look at their compliance procedures.
Such activity should not be allowed to go unchecked. The appetite for bribery accusations has increased in recent years. If any company fears they may find themselves in a similar situation to Rolls-Royce they need to seek legal advice immediately to investigate, assess and respond appropriately to the problem.