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Rolls-Royce probed over fraud claims

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has confirmed it has opened a criminal investigation into bribery and corruption allegations at Rolls-Royce

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has confirmed it has opened a criminal investigation into bribery and
corruption allegations
at Rolls-Royce.

The disclosure comes a
year after the aero-engine giant said it was co-operating with the SFO after its
own investigations identified matters of concern involving intermediaries in overseas markets.

It followed a request for information from the
SFO about allegations of
malpractice in both Indonesia
and China.

It has been alleged by former Rolls-Royce employee Dick Taylor that the company had handed a £12.9 million bribe and a blue Rolls-Royce car to Tommy Suharto, the son of Indonesia's former dictator General Suharto.

In return, it is claimed, the country's flag-carrier Garuda bought Rolls's Trent
700 engines for its Airbus A330 aircraft.

Reponding to the allegations, Mr Suharto has strenuously denied that he received payment from the firm.

But speaking yesterday a spokesman for the SFO said: "We confirm that the director of the Serious Fraud Office
has opened a criminal
investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption at Rolls-Royce."

The manufacturing giant boasts major sites at Derby and Bristol, as well
as employsing somewhere in the region of 45,000 people
worldwide.

In March, the company appointed BP director Ian Davis, a former managing director of management consultancy McKinsey & Co,
as chairman.

In a brief statement the firm said: "Further to our announcement of December 6 2012 relating to concerns about bribery and corruption in overseas markets, we
have been informed by
the Serious Fraud Office that it has now commenced a
formal investigation into
these matters."

Rolls-Royce said last year that it has significantly strengthened its compliance procedures in recent years, with measures including a
new ethics code and an
intermediaries policy.

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