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British prosecutors safe extra convictions in Bertling bribery case

LONDON (Reuters) – Three former executives of the one-time UK division of German logistics and freight company Bertling have been convicted of bribery alongside a former logistics official after a British investigation into North Sea oil exploration contracts.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) mentioned on Tuesday the most recent trial dropped at 9 the entire variety of convictions landed – which embrace one for FH Bertling Ltd itself – in a four-year investigation into corrupt schemes within the North Sea and Angola.

Reporting restrictions had been lifted on Tuesday after a London jury acquitted three and convicted one in a case linked to a 16 million pound-plus freight forwarding contract associated to a North Sea challenge known as Jasmine.

FH Bertling executives paid greater than 350,000 kilos in bribes to sweeten a bid for the Jasmine contract – and to make sure that inflated costs charged for added providers had been waived by, the SFO mentioned.

Former FH Bertling executives Stephen Emler and Giuseppe Morreale pleaded responsible to being a part of a corrupt scheme to safe the contract.

Former logistics challenge lead Christopher Lane pleaded responsible to a separate bribery scheme involving overcharging and Colin Bagwell, one other FH Bertling supervisor, was convicted by the jury of the identical offence. 

The males might be sentenced on Dec. 11.

The newest convictions come on prime of seven others for bribing an agent of Sonangol, the Angolan state oil group, final 12 months. Two people had been charged over each schemes.

“These senior executives failed to show any integrity, resorting to bribery to secure lucrative contracts and hide their illicit activities,” mentioned SFO head Lisa Osofsky.

“It is our mission to bring criminals like these to justice. Bribery has no place in business in Britain or abroad. It undermines the rule of law, distorts our economy and damages the reputation of the UK.”

FH Bertling Ltd (UK), as soon as a part of 150-year-old, Hamburg-based Bertling Group, went into voluntary liquidation in 2018.

Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Editing by Adrian Croft

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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