Uk’s Serious Fraud Office wary of Thai Authorities
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has expressed concern about providing official documents on Rolls-Royce bribery cases to Thai authorities due to differences in the two countries’ legal systems, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said.
He added that both providers and recipients of bribes would be guilty under Thai law.
In the Rolls-Royce cases, the British company reached a deferred prosecution agreement with UK authorities regarding the commission of bribes, some of which allegedly involved Thai government officials and corporate staff, regarding offences relating to a conspiracy to corrupt and the failure to prevent bribery.
The UK engine-maker faced a fine of more than US$800 million (Bt28.2 billion) in relation to offences committed in Thailand, Indonesia, India and other countries.
Regarding Thailand, Rolls-Royce admitted to having made combined illegal payments of $38 million to regional and Thailand-based agents to win aircraft-engine contracts with Thai Airways International (THAI).
Over recent weeks, the Prayut government has been under pressure to identify and take legal action against the recipients of bribes as the National Anti-Corruption Commission has been in the process of seeking official documents regarding the cases from its UK counterpart.
Meanwhile, Prayut yesterday chaired the first meeting of a super-committee tasked with implementing national reconciliation, reform and development agendas, which include setting up an anti-corruption mechanism in the form of a supervisory body in charge of the disbursements from the national expenditure budget.
However, the premier said national unity was the most important mission and a prerequisite for the reform and development agendas, which are meant to extend for the next two decades, to be successful.
Source: The Nation