We originally wrote in 2014 about charges that had been brought in September of that year by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office against the French Multinational’s UK subsidiary, Alstom Network UK Ltd, and two former employees and British nationals for corruption offences (under pre-Bribery Act era legislation) relating to transport projects in India, Poland, and Tunisia.
This was to be the first of a number of charges that have resulted from the SFO’s investigation into Alstom (which started close to 7 years ago and is described by the SFO as “ongoing”), the most recent of which was announced just today:
- In December 2014, corruption charges were brought against another of Alstom’s UK entities, Alstom Power Ltd and two former employees, in connection with the refurbishment of a Lithuanian power plant. The trial in this matter is expected to start in January 2017.
- Further and separate ‘corruption’ and ‘conspiracy to corrupt’ charges were announced in April and May of 2015, against Alstom Network UK Ltd, and two former employees – a British national who had been working as a business development director for Alstom in France, and a French National who had been a Senior VP, Ethics and Compliance. These charges concern the supply of trains to the Budapest Metro between January 2006 and October 2007.
- Today, the SFO confirmed that another British national, who had been the Alstom Country President for the UK and Managing Director of Alstom Transport UK & Ireland, has been charged with offences of ‘corruption’ and ‘conspiracy to corrupt’ in connection with the supply of trains to the Budapest Metro, and will face trial alongside Alstom Network UK Ltd, and the two other individuals previously charged. The last indication from the SFO, prior to today’s news, was that the trial in this matter was expected to start in May 2017.
With some trials only set to commence next year this is a lingering saga, which has its origin in an investigation commenced by the Swiss Attorney General’s Office in October 2007, that will see at least a decade past before reaching any finality.