Following multiple reports of widespread and systematic bribery of politicians and policy-makers across Central and East Africa by British American Tobacco (BAT), Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) are calling for an immediate investigation of BAT, the world’s second largest publicly traded tobacco corporation. In a letter to the US Department of Justice, the lawmakers argue BAT’s actions may have violated both the anti-bribery and the books and records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Since the release of a BBC documentary that first brought attention to BAT’s alleged actions, additional documents have come to light, showing the bribery may be even more widespread. The documents indicate BAT (may) have paid people off to protect its corporate reputation and cover up scandals like a warehouse fire in Uganda, and even engaged in corporate espionage and sabotage of competitor tobacco corporations in Kenya.
“These allegations demonstrate deplorable choices by BAT to balloon its profits through bribery at the expense of the health of millions. A corporation that enjoys the benefits of our stock exchange must comply with our laws,” said Congressman Lloyd Doggett.
“The allegations lodged against BAT are an affront to public health and United States law. The tobacco industry has a long history of placing profits above public health and these allegations raise clear questions about whether BAT violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal. Read full article
CCR’ (03 February 2016) Doggett Blumenthal Call for Corporate Criminal Investigation of BAT [legal editorial]. Retrieved from http://ow.ly/Y0JJk