BAE chief detained as US turns up heat in bribes case - Business News - Business - The Independent

BAE chief detained as US turns up heat in bribes case

BAE Systems admitted yesterday that American authorities investigating corruption claims over an arms deal with Saudi Arabia had issued a series of subpoenas to senior executives, as the investigation continues to gather pace. Two bosses of the defence giant were also detained after they landed at a Houston airport last week.

BAE released a statement which said: "The Department of Justice last week served a number of additional subpoenas in the US on our employees as part of its ongoing investigation."

The statement added: "The company has been and continues to be in discussion with the Department of Justice concerning the subpoenas served in the course of its investigation."

The chief executive, Mike Turner, and an unnamed senior colleague were held for 20 minutes by US law enforcement agents at George Bush International Airport this week. The pair were served with subpoenas while they were detained at the airport. A further three executives, all based in the US, were served at home. The spokesman said Mr Turner had now returned to Britain, but added that he had not been prevented from entering the US last week. He declinedto comment on the nature of the subpoenas, which could range from requests for information, to orders for a personal appearance in front of a jury to give evidence.

The US DoJ is investigating BAE over alleged corruption charges during the 1980s and 1990s relating to the £43bn al-Yamamah fighter plane deal. BAE denies any wrongdoing.

The Serious Fraud Office in London also launched an investigation into the deal, but it was suspended in December 2006 over fears that it would damage Britain's relations with Saudi Arabia. This has been challenged by a High Court ruling, although the Government is appealing against the decision.

News that Mr Turner and others were detained in Houston suggests that the DoJ investigation is proceeding at some pace, 11 months after BAE first disclosed its existence. On a single day in June last year, BAE shares fell by 8 per cent amid concerns that the DoJ could impose significant sanctions under its powerful Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and that the problems could affect the company's lucrative and deepening business ties with the US military.

The FCPA gives US authorities the power to prosecute offences of corporate bribery, even if the company involved is not American and the bribery is carried out overseas.

The Act has its roots in a string of scandals in the US aerospace industry in the Seventies, when hundreds of firms admitted paying bribes to secure contracts overseas. Last year the US government collected more than $100m in fines from oil, chemical and telecoms companies under the FCP. The number of foreign bribery cases filed by criminal and civil investigators in the US has more than doubled since 2004.

Firms which issue shares or bonds in the US are subject to the Act, as are any firms found to have used the US phone, mail or banking systems as part of the bribery scheme. The now defunct Riggs bank in Washington was used to channel some payments under the Al-Yamamah deal, it was revealed last year, although BAE says those payments were legitimate.

Separately, BAE will today announce it has been awarded a £43.9m contract with the Ministry of Defence to maintain the Royal Air Force's tanking and transport fleet of VC10s.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Training Coordinator / Resource Planner - City, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week