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24 January 2018

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The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced that it is investigating possible bribery, corruption and money laundering at the London-listed defence company, Chemring.

Chemring has said in a statement that the investigation follows a voluntary report by the company’s subsidiary business, Chemring Technology Solutions Limited (CTSL), and relates to two historic contracts. The statement adds: “It is too early to predict the outcome of the SFO’s investigation. Chemring continues to cooperate fully with the SFO.”

Chemring makes explosives, missile counter measures and sensors for the defence sector. It is certainly not the only defence or aerospace company to be investigated by the SFO in recent years.

A year ago, Rolls-Royce agreed to pay £671M in fines as part of a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the SFO after a lengthy investigation into bribery and corruption. Airbus is currently being investigated by the SFO and the authorities in four other countries over allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption.

As more investigations begin into corruption in various parts of the world, it becomes ever clearer that the authorities are taking such allegations more importantly than ever before.

With increased international cooperation between investigating agencies and a number of countries now taking a tougher stance on bribery, we are likely to see a continued increase in investigations. That will mean more companies requiring legal assistance: the type of specialist assistance that can coordinate a defence case that crosses borders, can negotiate with one or more national investigating agencies and can reach a settlement that is in the best interests of the company.


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