BP Investigating Alleged Bribes in Tanker Chartering Division
BP is in the process of investigating alleged bribes in its tanker chartering division. A letter describing alleged corruption was received by its chief executive sometime last week. The London-based office reported that they are looking into a serious case of bribery and corruption.
BP representatives have reaffirmed that they conduct business to the highest ethical standards and take accusations of this kind very seriously. Robert Dudley, BP’s chief executive, received the alleged details via a letter written by a whistleblower that is described solely as a BP employee.
The central claim concerns the alleged chartering of tankers at preferential terms for a supplier in return for cash payments to a senior BP employee, according to The Daily Telegraph who has seen the letter. A supposed copy of the letter has also been sent to Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, which now has immense power in handling bribery following recent changes to the country’s Bribery Act. No comments regarding whether they will launch an investigation into these claims have been made.
AFP details the law changes as follows: Britain's new Bribery Act creates new offenses of offering or receiving a bribe, bribing foreign public officials or failing to prevent a bribe being paid on behalf of an organization. British-based companies can be prosecuted under the new law regardless of where the offenses occurred. Foreign firms with a listing in London are not automatically brought into the law's reach, however, as the question of jurisdiction is left to the British courts to decide.
BP said last year that it dismissed 552 people for non-compliance and unethical behavior in 2010.