Following the outcome of a disciplinary panel, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) this month found that Sweett Group “did not at all times act with integrity” concerning a bribery case relating to its Middle East operations.
RICS on Aug. 17 imposed a fine of £125,000, ordered the British property management, construction, and surveying company to pay costs of £4,590 and subject it to ongoing reporting obligations. The Sweett said it is currently considering whether to appeal.
As Compliance Week previously reported, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office in February sentenced and ordered Sweett Group to pay £2.25 million to resolve an SFO investigation into the company’s activities in the United Arab Emirates. The conviction and punishment represented the first under Section 7 of the Bribery Act.
Section 7 provides that a company will be guilty of an offense if an “associated person” bribes another person intending either to obtain or retain business, or gain a business advantage, for the company. The Bribery Act defines an associated person as an individual who performs services for or on behalf of the company.
The British property management, construction and surveying company pleaded guilty in December 2015 to a charge of failing to prevent an act of bribery intended to secure and retain a contract with Al Ain Ahlia Insurance Company (AAAI) in violation of Section 7(1)(b) of the Bribery Act.
The SFO’s investigation into Sweett Group, which commenced in July 2014, uncovered that its subsidiary company, Cyril Sweett International Limited, made corrupt payments to Khaled Al Badie, the vice chairman of the board and chairman of the Real Estate and Investment Committee of AAA, to secure the award of a contract with AAAI for the building of the Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The conduct occurred between 2012 and 2015.
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