April 8 - Glasgow based logistics company, Braid Logistics, is to pay GBP2.2 million (USD3.09 million) after self-reporting over bribery and failure to prevent bribery, according to the Civil Recovery Unit of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
The Civil Recovery Unit will recover the money under an agreed civil settlement with Braid Logistics, which accepted that it had obtained business through unlawful conduct. The recovered funds will be used for community projects across Scotland.
Braid Group (Holdings) is the parent holding company for various subsidiary companies, including Braid Logistics (UK), which is based in Glasgow and specialises in freight and logistics.
In an official statement, COPFS said that Braid became aware of potentially dishonest activities in relation to two Braid UK freight forwarding contracts in 2012. The company initiated an investigation, that revealed there had been breaches of the terms of the Bribery Act 2010.
The first contract related to an agreement between a Braid UK employee and the employee of a customer. An account was used as a means for unauthorised expenses to be incurred by the customer's employee and was funded by the dishonest inflation of invoices provided to the customer. The expenses included personal travel, holidays, gifts, hotels, car hire and cash.
During the investigation into the above contract, separate bribery offences in relation to a second customer were discovered. A profit sharing arrangement with a director of the customer company had been operated, where the profit achieved on services provided to the customer was split, in return for orders continuing to be placed with Braid UK. As a consequence of the investigation, Braid voluntarily made a self-report to the Crown Office and accepted that it had failed in its responsibility to prevent this happening, similarly accepting responsibility for a contravention of Sections 1 and 7 of the Bribery Act 2010.
Under the self-reporting initiative, the case was deemed suitable for civil recovery settlement based on the gross profit made in relation to the relevant contracts. Although these two cases were confined to its UK subsidiary, Braid has taken steps to implement new policies and training throughout all of its subsidiaries to ensure that no unlawful conduct can take place in the future.
Linda Hamilton, head of the Civil Recovery Unit, said: "It is vital to the health of the Scottish economy that any form of bribery or corruption is identified and stopped as soon as possible.
"Only in this way, can businesses who play by the rules flourish, without competing with those who obtain commercial advantage through unlawful means. Braid is to be commended for self-reporting the unlawful conduct to Crown Office."
Braid Logistics was founded in 1955 and was formerly known as John S Braid & Co.