31 March 2010 Business
Industry news, April 2010
Four former executives of speciality chemicals firm Innospec have been sentenced following convictions for conspiring to corrupt public officials in Iraq and Indonesia between 2002 and 2008. Three of the men were jailed for between 18 months and four years, and a fourth was given a suspended sentence and community service.
The charges arose from an investigation by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, in combination with other UK and international authorities. They relate to the company’s efforts to prolong sales of the fuel additive tetraethyl lead (TEL), which was banned in the UK in 2000, after it was found to be toxic and inhibit children’s mental development. The men were found guilty of bribing officials to secure contracts for TEL or to ensure competitor products such as Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) received unfavourable assessments.
Innospec itself pleaded guilty to several charges as part of this investigation in 2010, and was fined $40 million (£27 million at 2010 exchange rates). In a statement, the company said that it has ‘made significant improvements to its compliance procedures, including employee training and assurance and due diligence processes for dealing with third parties’.
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