Some years ago the investigation was started by the SFOÂ concerning the alleged bribery and corruption in the British defence conglomerate BAE Systems. The UK Serious Fraud Office has six continuing investigations into BAE, including company’s deals in South Africa andÂ the Czech Republic.
All the case is about channelling the Â£1bn commission sum through Red Diamond Trading and Poseidon Trading Investments, both registered in the British Virgin Islands, into various countries. Now there is information that the SFO has met the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to discuss allegations of corrupt practices by BAE.
The DoJ is looking into whether it has the jurisdiction to launch a formal inquiry to pursue BAE over payments allegedly made to win defence contracts from foreign governments. Similar investigation which could cause a breakdown in relations with Saudi Arabia was terminated by the SFO in December 2006.
The DoJ’s discussions with the SFO are focused on payments made by the BVI-registered Red Diamond to middlemen and officials in various countries. If the Corporate Fraud Task Force, operated by the DoJ, establishes that money or communications from Red Diamond entered the United States, even as electronic data, then BAE Systems will be pursued under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Under this Act, companies can be fined millions of dollars, forced to pay back corrupt profits and deprived out of all the US government contracts.