Three employees of Swift Technical Solutions, Ltd., a U.K.-based provider of manpower for the oil and gas industry, were found not guilty of corruption-related offenses before the Southwark Crown Court in London. The United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) alleged that, in 2008 and 2009, the defendants conspired to bribe Nigerian officials on the boards of revenue in Lagos State and Rivers State in Nigeria. Because the acts in question took place before the passage of the U.K. Bribery Act 2010, the case proceeded under the U.K. Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
The three defendants—Bharat Sodha, Nidhi Vyas and Trevor Bruce—were each brought to trial on two separate counts of conspiracy to make corrupt payments. After the prosecution rested, the judge ordered Vyas’s acquittal on the first count of conspiracy, and the jury acquitted on the second. The jury likewise acquitted Sodha of all charges and acquitted Bruce of one count of conspiracy, but was unable to reach a verdict on the remaining count. Once the SFO indicated that it would not seek a retrial on this count, the defendants were declared not guilty on all charges.
According to the SFO, Swift Technical Solutions was not charged due to its cooperation with the investigation, and a fourth defendant was not prosecuted due to health concerns.