On June 4, 2014, the RCMP charged three individuals under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (the “CFPOA”). Canada-wide warrants were issued for the arrest of the former CEO and COO of Cryptometrics Inc. as well as a former agent.
Two of the three accused, Robert Barra and Dario Berini, are US nationals, and the third, Shailesh Govindia, is a UK national. The RCMP may seek the extradition of the three accused to face trial in Ontario.
The company provided facial recognition technology and was the U.S. parent of Cryptometrics Canada, whose former executive director Nazir Karigar was found guilty in an Ontario court in August 2013 of attempting to bribe foreign public officials in efforts to secure a $100 million contract with Air India. Karigar was sentenced recently to three years in prison.
With these charges, eleven individuals have now been charged under the CFPOA in recent years. This serves as a warning to Canadian companies with international affiliates that the RCMP is not afraid to reach outside Canada’s borders to investigate and prosecute international bribery. Canadian or otherwise, individuals and companies who nonetheless have a connection to Canada and are alleged to have bribed or attempted to bribe foreign public officials are within the increasingly active enforcement mandate of the RCMP.