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Mishcon's Culture vs Corruption Diary - June 2014

UK

New penalties

British companies that bribe foreign officials to win contracts, commit fraud, or launder money, face fines of up to 400% of their illicit profits, under new penalty guidelines.

The proposals for England and Wales, set out by the Sentencing Council, allow judges for the first time to weigh harm done to the victim rather than purely the financial amount defrauded and are set to come into force in October.
Caroline Binham
FT, 22 May 2014

AUSTRALASIA

Match fixing

The former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns has been interviewed by the Metropolitan Police over corruption claims made by New Zealand's captain, Brendon McCullum, and whistle-blower Lou Vincent. Vincent told the ICC's Anti-corruption and Security Unit that he had fixed four matches for Cairns by underperforming and Cairns still owed him $200,000 (£118,000) in payment. Cairns has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
Scyld Berry
Sunday Telegraph, 25 May 2014

AFRICA

Embezzlement

Hosni Mubarak, the deposed Egyptian president, has been jailed for three years for embezzlement. Mubarak, who was forced to resign at the end of the Tahrir Square protests in February 2011, was accused of using millions of dollars of public money to refurbish his private residences. Cairo courts are still hearing a serious case against Mubarak, who is accused of responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of protesters shot dead by the police.
Telegraph, 22 May 2014

EUROPE

Anti-corruption agreement

Ukraine's government has signed an anti-corruption initiative with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which involves the creation of a "business ombudsman" to hear complaints, including unfair official treatment of businesses, and help to settle disputes. The ombudsman is expected to be a neutral non-Ukrainian, funded by international financial institutions. The agreement also commits the Kiev government to zero tolerance of corruption and to taking steps to improve transparency and business regulation.
Neil Buckley
FT, 11 May 2014

ASIA

Bribery

Hong Kong property tycoon brothers, Thomas and Raymond Kwok, the co-chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties, one of the world's largest real estate groups, have gone on trial for allegedly bribing Rafael Hui, former chief secretary in the Hong Kong government, in the biggest ever corruption case in the Chinese territory. Hui is alleged to have accepted HK$34m ($4.4m) in financial inducements, loans and the free use of two apartments.
Demetri Sevastopulo
FT, 8 May 2014

Abuse of position

Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand's prime minister, has been found guilty of abusing her position when she ordered the transfer of a civil servant three years ago, and ordered to stand down by Thailand's Constitutional Court, along with nine of her top ministers. This is the third time in seven years the court had forced out a government associated with ouster former premier Thaksin Shinawatra. The order has immediate effect, but the court said the remainder of her government could remain in place in a caretaker role until elections go ahead on 20 July.
Andrew Buncombe
Independent, 7 May 2014