Thai, Indonesian probes of alleged Rolls-Royce graft

BANGKOK • Thailand's flagship airline yesterday said it had launched a probe into revelations that engine-maker Rolls-Royce paid millions of dollars in bribes to win contracts, including to airline employees and government officials.

On the same day, Indonesia's anti-corruption agency named the former chief executive of the country's flag carrier Garuda a suspect for allegedly receiving bribes from Rolls-Royce while he was head of the airline.

The investigations come after the renowned British company agreed to pay a US$808 million (S$1.15 billion) fine to authorities in Britain, the United States and Brazil to settle bribery and graft claims.

After its largest ever corruption probe, Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) found Rolls-Royce paid massive bribes over three decades to win contracts in Indonesia, Thailand, India, Russia, Nigeria, China and Malaysia.

Engine-maker Rolls-Royce has no connection with Rolls-Royce cars, a marque owned by German company BMW.

In Thailand, investigators found some US$36 million in bribes and incentives were paid between 1991 and 2005 to intermediaries - including "agents of the State of Thailand and employees of Thai Airways" - to help the company win lucrative jet engine deals.

A Thai Airways statement said the company will "gather information from all the sources in order to investigate the matter thoroughly".

In Indonesia, the country's Corruption Eradication Commission said yesterday that ex-Garuda chief executive Emirsyah Satar had been named a suspect for allegedly receiving kickbacks from Rolls-Royce in exchange for buying planes fitted with the company's engines.

The agency said the corruption was alleged to have taken place in Indonesia and Singapore, and it was working with Britain's SFO and Singapore's anti-corruption authorities.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2017, with the headline 'Thai, Indonesian probes of alleged Rolls-Royce graft'. Subscribe