Property veterans face SFO bribery inquiry
Tuesday 15 July 2014
The Serious Fraud Office launched a formal inquiry into one of the UK’s oldest surveying firms yesterday following bribery claims about a $100m (£58m) project to build a hospital in Morocco. The investigation centres on claims that a Sweett director told architects HLW, which was chasing the $5.6m contract to design the hospital in 2010, it would have to pay 3.5 per cent of the contract to officials inside the personal foundation of the United Arab Emirates president Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan.
HLW initially paid but then stopped the payment on legal advice, according to The Wall Street Journal, where the claims emerged a year ago.
Sweett hired law firm Pinsent Masons last year to investigate but closed the original inquiry in January with allegations “unproven”. But a second inquiry, this time by the legal firm Mayer Brown, found “material instances of deception may have been perpetrated by a former employee or employees”, between 2009 and 2011.
The former employee was based in Sweett’s Dubai office. It is “co-operating fully” with the SFO, although it is understood no senior staff have yet been interviewed.
Sweett’s latest accounts show the firm has had to pay £490,000 for the two investigations. It has yet to make any provision for potential fines related to the bribery claims, saying as yet there was insufficient evidence.
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
- 5 Doctors declare war on Jeremy Hunt over weekend working 'myths' amid plan for seven day NHS
Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
Jack the Ripper's final victim set to be exhumed following new theory on the killer's identity
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about custom...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Main purpose: Under the directi...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Contracts Manager - City...