The folks at Innospec Inc. may be wishing it sold things like fighter jets in places like Saudi Arabia than what it actually sells – things like Tetraethyl Lead in places like Indonesia. When bribery and corruption take place in the former instance, there is no exposure for bribery and corruption (see here), but when it takes place in the later instance, there is exposure for bribery and corruption.
Today, the U.K. SFO announced (here) that “Innospec Limited, a UK subsidiary of Innospec Inc., a U.S. NASDAQ listed company, has appeared before [a City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court] in response to a summons from the court on application from the Serious Fraud Office alleging conspiracy to corrupt …”. According to the release, the case “concerns bribery on a significant scale by Innospec and its agents in Indonesia” and the charges relate to Innospec Limited conspiring “with certain of its directors, executives, employees and agents to give or agree to give corrupt payments … to public officials and other agents of the Government of Indonesia as inducements to secure, or as rewards for having secured, contracts from the Government of Indonesia for the supply of Tetraethyl Lead …” According to the release, “details of the alleged offense” will be available on March 4, 2010.
This is perhaps just the first of many hammers to drop on Innospec. See here for its recent disclosure.