SFO charges logistics company FH Bertling, 5 individuals in payments probe

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FH Bertling Ltd, the logistics and freight operations group, and five people are due to appear in court later this month after being charged by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.

The anti-fraud agency said on Tuesday that FH Bertling and four individuals face one count of conspiracy to give or accept corrupt payments in violation of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 and the Criminal Law Act 1977.

The allegations involve contracts to supply freight-forwarding services related to a North Sea oil exploration project known as Jasmine.

The SFO charge alleges that Robert McNally, Georgina Ayres, Giuseppe Morreale, Stephen Emler and F.H. Bertling conspired together and with others to give or accept corrupt payments for helping FH Bertling win or retain contracts for that project.

Another individual, Christopher Lane, has been charged with a separate count of conspiracy to give or accept corrupt payments.

The conduct in question took place between January 2010 and May 2013, the SFO alleged.

F.H. Bertling Ltd is a UK-based subsidiary of Bertling Group, which has its headquarters in Germany. The company and those charged will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on May 19.

The company did not immediately return a request for comment.

Last year, the SFO charged FH Bertling and seven individuals with bribery in connection with the company’s business operations in Angola.

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