Press release 22nd Feb 2019

Lack of individual prosecutions in Rolls Royce bribery case – justice not served

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22nd February 2019, London – The closure of a bribery case against Rolls Royce by the Serious Fraud Office without any individuals being prosecuted is “absurd” and justice has not been served, according to Transparency International UK.

In January 2017 Rolls Royce entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the Serious Fraud Office following allegations of bribery and corruption against the company to win contracts in Indonesia, Thailand, Russia, China, Nigeria, India and Malaysia. A DPA is an admittance of wrong-doing by a company and a promise to cooperate with law enforcement during an investigation.

Transparency International UK firmly believes that DPAs are only successful when followed up with individual prosecutions against those responsible for the wrong-doing.

Robert Barrington, Executive Director of Transparency International UK, said:

“It is absurd that yet again a company can admit to bribery and yet neither the bribe payers nor the management team that allowed the crime to happen are held responsible. This case calls into question whether the SFO was correct to offer Rolls Royce a DPA. It is hard to believe that the interests of justice have been served or that there has been proper acknowledgement of the victims of the crime.”

“DPA’s must act as a serious deterrent against companies and include serious penalties that will prevent any future wrongdoing. A good DPA is one that is in the public interest and doesn’t allow companies or individuals to evade justice.” 

“This case is in danger of sending a message to companies that DPAs are a soft option for those engaging in serious corruption and that, at the right price, can buy their way out of punishment giving impunity to those who flagrantly broke the law.”

In January 2017 Transparency International UK published a series of opinions and information on this case, all of which can be accessed here.