British American Tobacco in bribery scandal
Publish date: 07 August 2017
Issue Number: 737
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
UK tobacco giant British American Tobacco (BAT) says it is under official investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over allegations it paid bribes in East Africa. According to BBC News, the company said it had been investigating the claims through external legal advisers and it had been co-operating with the SFO. Paul Hopkins, who worked for BAT in Kenya for 13 years, told the BBC he had begun paying bribes after being told it was the cost of doing business in Africa. The Panorama programme alleged that BAT, whose brands include Dunhill and Pall Mall cigarettes, had made illegal payments to politicians and civil servants in East Africa. The BBC spent five months investigating and was shown hundreds of secret documents purporting to show backhanders to various officials, including MPs.