Press release 20th Oct 2017

Sentences in $20m Angolan oil corruption case do not reflect seriousness of the crime

Press Office
[email protected]
+ 44 (0)20 3096 7695 
Out of hours:
Weekends; Weekdays (17.30-21.30):
+44 (0)79 6456 0340

Related Publication

 20th October 2017, London – Sentences handed down to three former senior employees of the F.H. Bertling group fall well short of what is necessary to act as a serious deterrent against UK companies engaging in corrupt activities abroad.

The Serious Fraud Office announced that the three men pleaded guilty to making corrupt payments to an agent of the Angolan state oil company in order to receive a contract worth approximately $20million.

They were each given suspended prison sentences, a £20,000 fine and disqualified from being company Directors for 5 years.

Robert Barrington, Executive Director Transparency International UK, said:

“It is very positive to see the SFO prosecuting individuals, but we cannot help being concerned at the size of the penalties.  Given the significant damage caused by corruption and the fact that it is a criminal offence, these three individuals have got off lightly. ”

“Corruption is never a victimless crime, and when corrupt payments are made in oil deals they often embed the power of corrupt kleptocrats who make the lives of ordinary people a daily misery.   Proper penalties are needed both as punishment and deterrent, including time in prison, lifetime suspensions from Directorships and fines that match the extent of the gain.”