The U.K. Serious Fraud Office confirmed that it is investigating suspicions of corruption in the conduct of business by British American Tobacco, its subsidiaries, and associated persons over bribery allegations in East Africa.
In a statement, the British multinational tobacco company said it is investigating, through external legal advisers, allegations of the misconduct, and that it has been informed by the SFO of its formal investigation. “BAT intends to co-operate with that investigation,” the company stated.
Both investigations result from allegations first made in a BBC Panorama programme in December 2015. In that programme, Paul Hopkins, a former BAT employee in Kenya for 13 years, told BBC that paying bribes was a cost of doing business in Africa to stifle anti-corruption laws in the region.