Glasgow logistics company Braid Group has agreed to pay more than £2m after it uncovered illegal bribery operations in its own organisation.
Bulk and liquid specialist Braid found it had won contracts which breached the Bribery Act.
The company reported itself to the Crown Office and has agreed to pay a penalty of £2.2m. It said it was implementing new policies to stop bribery happening again.
Braid has issued a statement to explain its position:
Glasgow-based Braid Logistics (UK) Ltd has reached a settlement with the Crown Office over a bribery case involving a small number of ex-employees and an employee of a client company, agreeing to pay a sum of £2.2m. The funds will benefit community projects across Scotland.
The civil settlement came after the company discovered potentially dishonest activities in relation to two Braid UK freight forwarding contracts in 2012. When these activities were brought to the attention of the company’s board, it began an immediate and thorough internal investigation which revealed breaches of anti-bribery legislation. Braid UK then terminated the employment of those involved and voluntarily reported the incident to the Crown Office.
The company’s decisive action over the matter and its close cooperation with Crown Office led to its case being referred to the Civil Recovery Unit where it was dealt with on a civil rather than criminal basis.
Since this incident, Braid UK has made a substantial investment to overhaul its systems to prevent a repeat of this activity from ever occurring in future. All its employees now undergo thorough anti-bribery training and the company has introduced tighter policies involving client gifts, entertainment and expenses. The company has also implemented a new management team and structure in the UK. While these cases were confined to Braids UK subsidiary, the company has implemented these new policies and training throughout all of its global subsidiaries.
Alasdair Davidson, Group Financial Director at Braid Logistics UK, said: “The activities uncovered in this case were the unauthorised actions of a small number of individuals who are no longer employed by the company. Braid UK’s rapid and thorough response to these pursuits and the wholesale changes we have now made in our company’s systems led to our case being conducted on civil grounds. During this process we have worked closely with the Civil Recovery Unit which has commended Braid UK for its cooperation in self-reporting.
“The payment of this fine now draws a line under the civil case. I would like to assure our customers that we now have emerged stronger from this incident with more robust processes and procedures in place throughout the Group. We are now on a solid financial footing and in a strong position to meet our worldwide growth plans going forward.”
“As we have demonstrated from our own investigations and in self-reporting these activities to the Crown Prosecution Service, we have a zero tolerance policy towards breach of anti-bribery legislation and any other company laws across the entire Braid Group.”