Two arrested in UK fraud probe into Rolls-Royce’s China dealings

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 February, 2014, 7:58pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 February, 2014, 8:40pm

Two men have been arrested in London as part of an investigation into aerospace and defence group Rolls-Royce's dealings in China and Indonesia.

"In connection with a Serious Fraud Office [SFO] investigation, we can confirm a number of search warrants have been executed at various properties in London today. Two men were also arrested," the SFO said.

The two men were Rolls-Royce employees and up to five residential addresses and one office were raided. The office was not a Rolls-Royce office.

Rolls-Royce, which was due to publish its full-year results yesterday, declined to comment.

The world's second-largest maker of aircraft engines said in December the SFO had launched a probe into possible bribery and graft in China and Indonesia.

A year earlier, it passed information to the SFO about bribery and graft involving intermediaries in overseas markets, and said it could face prosecution.

A source close to the investigation said at the time that the allegations had been raised with the SFO by a whistleblower. Another source said Rolls-Royce had contacted the US Department of Justice about the inquiry.

Allegations of corruption are not new to the defence industry, where companies tends to use individuals or companies to help broker deals in countries where they do not have a large presence.

BAE Systems was fined US$450 million by the US and Britain in 2010 after long-running corruption investigations.