US collects US$18bn fines from corrupt firms

THE United States of America (US) has collected over US$18 billion in fines from companies engaging in various corrupt activities across the globe since 2015.

The companies were charged under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Addressing journalists during the US Anti-corruption Efforts Virtual Reporting Tour (VRT) hosted by the Foreign Press Centre, a supervisory special agent in the International Corruption Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said the FBI had partnered law enforcement agencies around the world to investigate some of the cases.

The agent Jeffrey Coleman was presenting a paper titled, Curbing Illicit Finance.

“We have been investigating these cases since 2009, but for most of those from 2009 to 2015, there was only one group of agents in the United States which worked on this, which is about 10 or 12 agents that were based in Washington, DC,” he said.

“Over $18 billion in fines have been collected through FCPA cases against companies around the world. Part of that growth is due to the additional resources the United States has provided to these investigations.”

Studies have shown that countries lose millions of dollars through illicit financial flows which include bribery and smuggling of goods.

A recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed that developing countries were losing billions annually to illicit financial flows.

Speaking at the same event, director for Financial Transparency and Regulatory Policy in the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes at the US Department of the Treasury, Young Lee said the US Treasury was also exploring ways to enhance transparency in the US real estate market.


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