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SFO charges logistics firm and seven individuals with Angola bribery

The UK Serious Fraud Office Wednesday charged logistics and freight operations company F.H. Bertling Ltd and seven individuals with bribing an agent of the Angolan state oil company, Sonangol.

The defendants face one count of making corrupt payments contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

The bribery was intended “to further F.H. Bertling’s business operations” in Angola, the SFO said.

The individuals named are Peter Ferdinand, 77, Marc Schweiger, 46, Stephen Emler, 48, Joerg Blumberg, 67, Dirk Juergensen, 45, Giuseppe Morreale, 61, and Ralf Peterson, 72.

F.H. Bertling Ltd. is a UK-based subsidiary of the Germany-headquartered Bertling Group.

The group has 65 subsidiaries in 35 countries with over 1,100 employees.

The alleged bribery took place between January 2005 and December 2006.

The defendants “have been requisitioned to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 4,” the SFO said.

The SFO said it accepted the case for investigation in September 2014 but didn’t announce it before Wednesday.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He’ll be the keynote speaker at the FCPA Blog NYC Conference 2016.

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4 Comments

  1. What's the rationale behind Prevention of Corruption act being applied instead of UKBA?

  2. The alleged offenses pre-date the UKBA.

  3. Is there any speculation as to why the SFO waited two years to announce the acceptance of the investigation? It seems that entities engaging F. K. Bertling could have used this information earlier when determining if they wanted to engage or continue to use F.K. Bertling to provide logistics services. Do you see this as another Panalpina type matter coming down the pike?

  4. Thank you so much Mr.Cassin for the comment. Now I understand.


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