Following a joint investigation by the SFO and the City of London Police, Julian Messent, a former director of London-based insurance business PWS International Ltd, pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to two counts of making corrupt payments between February 1999 and June 2002 contrary to section 1(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906. Messent admitted making or authorising corrupt payments of almost US$2 million to Costa Rican officials in the state insurance company Instituto Nacional de Seguros and the national electricity and telecommunications provider Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad. Messent was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment and ordered to pay £100,000 compensation to the Republic of Costa Rica or serve an additional 12 months imprisonment if he fails to do so. He has been disqualified from acting as a company director for five years.