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U.S. Investigating Indonesia Bribes

Map courtesy of wikipediaAn FBI agent told a gathering of international law enforcement officials last week that several U.S. public companies are being investigated for bribery in Indonesia.

According to a report in the Jakarta Globe, Gary Johnson of the FBI said, “There are cases that involve companies from our country in Indonesia.”

He was interviewed by the Globe during a two-day conference on combating bribery in international business transactions in Nusa Dua, Bali.

Another FBI agent, Gregory A. Coleman, told the paper a memorandum of understanding between the FBI and Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), showed that the two agencies are pursuing similar goals.

Recent FCPA enforcement actions with allegations of bribery in Indonesia involved Alliance One, a tobacco company, specialty-chemical company Innospec, and communications firm Veraz Networks.

Indonesia, a country spread over “17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited),” according to the CIA World Factbook, has about 250 million people. It ranks 110 on the corruption perception index, tied with Benin, Bolivia, Gabon, Kosovo, and the Solomon Islands.

The country produces about a million barrels of oil a day. Other big industries are textiles, apparel, footwear, mining, cement, chemical fertilizers, plywood, rubber, and food. The tourist industry is also huge.

The FBI agents at the Bali conference wouldn’t name the U.S. firms under investigation.

“They are companies that are listed in the U.S. stock market,” Agent Johnson said. The cases are being handled by the legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta in cooperation with the KPK, he said.

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