5.6m fine levied under the Bribery Act 2010
The Crown Officer Procurator Fiscal in Scotland has used its powers under the Bribery Act 2010 ("the Act") to force Abbot Group Limited ("Abbot") to account for £5.6m of profit attained as a result of corrupt activities in 2006/2007. This decision is the first under the Act's so-called "self-reporting initiative".
The corrupt practices, in contravention of the Act, occurred during contract negotiations between one of Abbot's subsidiaries and an overseas oil and gas company in 2006; corrupt payments were also made by the subsidiary in 2007.
Abbot (now under different ownership and leadership) made use of the Act's self-reporting initiative after the activities were uncovered during inquiries by an overseas Tax Authority. Under the self-reporting initiative, the Serious Organised Crime Division ("SOCD") has jurisdiction to decide whether to refer a case to the Civil Recovery Unit or whether the activities are so serious that they merit prosecution. Following a full investigation by Abbot and subsequent self-reporting to the SOCD, it was decided that the Civil Recovery Unit should take matters forward.
Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said "the £5.6m will be used to further expand the £46m CashBack for Communities Programme by funding projects that will contribute towards delivering youth employability, healthy lifestyles and reducing re-offending for the young people of Scotland".
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