The UK’s Serious Fraud Office has started a formal investigation into British American Tobacco (BAT) over corruption allegations in Africa.
Deputy Editor at Financial Mail, Rob Rose, says the investigation stems from allegations by a whistle blower in Kenya who said that he was paid to administer bribes on behalf of BAT.
This was done in order to give the company advantage over its competitors. Rose says this is a similar case to the one that emerged in South Africa about a year ago.
What happened was that BAT commissioned two law firms to investigate these claims.— Rob Rose, Financial Mail Deputy Editor
They found enough to be concerned about and that's what triggered this investigation by the SFO.— Rob Rose, Financial Mail Deputy Editor
According to the Kenya allegations, government officials and tax authorities were bribed. In South Africa, it was tax officials and members of the police services that were paid between R2 000 and R5 000 a month to spy on BAT competitors and report back on what these companies were working on.
It is now a year since these allegations came to light and BAT is still not commenting or talking with the members of the media on these issues.
To hear more of this interview, listen below: