Britain’s Bribery Law Could Nail Sable Mining

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British Prime Minister David Cameron, has responded to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s earlier communication requesting the assistance of the UK Government in establishing the veracity and the ramifications of the claims contained in the Global Witness Report against Sable Mining, a London-based company.

In what could be a major turning point in the investigations of the Global Witness allegations, Prime Minister Cameron told the Liberian leader that the Government of the United Kingdom has a law – the Bribery Act of 2010 – which makes it a criminal offense for a company to fail to prevent a bribe being paid, regardless of where the crime occurred.

The Prime Minister pointed out that he is proud that since 2010, the UK Government has introduced some of the world’s toughest Anti-Corruption legislations, especially on bribery, adding that the Bribery Act of 2010 makes it a criminal offence for a company to fail to prevent a bribe being paid, regardless of where the crime occurred.

He acknowledged that President Sirleaf acted promptly in response to the Global Witness Report by establishing a Special Task Force to investigate the allegations and assured that the UK Government is fully committed to working with the Government of Liberia on the investigation.

President Sirleaf in her communication to Prime Minister Cameron, mentioned that a British company called Sable, was alleged to have apparently offered or given bribes to some Liberian officials, to the tune of US$950,000, to affect the awarding of a mining concession, and emphasized that the UK’s cooperation and collaboration in resolving the issue will go a long way in launching an effective partnership between the two countries in the monumental battle against the scourge of corruption.

She reminded the British Prime Minister that in a case such as the claims made in the Global Witness Report, both the giver and the recipient must face the same processes of interrogation, adding that this was the only way to bring to a halt the endemic corrupt practices that ensnare billions of the world’s people in abject poverty.

According to an Executive Mansion release, Prime Minister Cameron expressed gratitude to President Sirleaf for drawing his attention to the allegations made by Global Witness against Sable Mining and agreed that it is vital to work to defeat corruption at all levels.

He informed President Sirleaf that he has asked the UK Ambassador to Liberia to discuss the allegations with relevant Liberian authorities in more detail and for information to be passed on to relevant UK law enforcement authorities for further investigation.

“Please be assured that the UK stands ready to cooperate with you to tackle corruption wherever it occurs,” he concluded.

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