(Updates number of people charged, adds separate charges)
LONDON May 2 The UK division of German
logistics and freight company Bertling and five people have been
charged with conspiracy to pay or accept bribes in a UK Serious
Fraud Office (SFO) inquiry into a North Sea oil exploration
The SFO alleged on Tuesday that Robert McNally, Georgina
Ayres, Giuseppe Morreale, Stephen Emler and F.H. Bertling Ltd
conspired together and with others to win or retain freight
forwarding contracts in a project called Jasmine between January
2010 and May 2013.
The four each face one charge of conspiracy to give or
accept corrupt payments. The SFO added that a fifth person,
Christopher Lane, had also been charged with a separate count of
conspiracy to give or accept corrupt payments.
The individuals and representatives for the company have
been told to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on May 19.
It is the second time the SFO, which investigates and
prosecutes high-level fraud, bribery and corruption, has filed
charges against the Bertling division.
Seven individuals and F.H. Bertling Ltd were charged last
July with making corrupt payments to an agent of Angolan state
oil group Sonangol between January 2005 and December 2006 in an
investigation that began in September 2014.
Hamburg-headquartered Bertling Group is a 150-year-old
private company that specialises in shipping and chartering,
logistics and freight forwarding and related IT services. It has
a presence in 35 countries around the world.
Freight forwarders coordinate and ship goods using single or
multiple air, marine, rail or highway carriers.
(Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; editing by David Clarke)