| LONDON, June 18
LONDON, June 18 A former chief executive and
regional sales director of U.S.-listed chemicals group Innospec
were convicted in London on Wednesday of bribing
Indonesian officials to boost sales of toxic fuel additives
banned in Europe and the United States.
The unanimous guilty verdicts for Dennis Kerrison, 69, and
Miltiades Papachristos, 51, bring to an end a drawn-out
transatlantic investigation into how Innospec supplied Indonesia
with products such as Tetraethyl Lead (TEL), which is banned in
cars in western countries on health and environmental grounds.
Innospec pleaded guilty in 2010 to bribing Indonesian
government officials employed by Pertamina, a state-owned
refinery, and was fined $12.7 million as part of a global
settlement. Since then, former directors David Turner and Paul
Jennings also pleaded guilty to corruption charges.
Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which worked closely
with U.S. agencies, UK police and authorities in Indonesia,
Switzerland and Singapore to help bring Innospec and its former
staff to book, said the four men would be sentenced on July 25.
Innospec appointed and paid agents almost $12 million
between 2002 and 2008 to act on its behalf to win or maintain
Indonesian contracts to sell TEL, which has been outlawed in
some countries because it has been linked to brain and kidney
damage and even violent crime.
Although the Indonesian government was keen to eliminate the
use of leaded fuel, Innospec agents used the commissions in part
to bribe Pertamina staff and other public officials. They acted
under Innospec's instructions and commission fees were
authorised by the company, according to the SFO.
Innospec cooperated fully with the investigation first
launched by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) in the wake of
United Nations Independent Inquiry Committee report into the Oil
for Food Programme in 2005.
The DoJ referred the inquiry to the SFO in 2007 and the
British agency formally accepted it for investigation early the
"Today's convictions finally bring to an end a long-running
investigation into corruption at Innospec," said SFO head David
"While other defendants took the decision to plead guilty at
an early stage, the SFO case team has had to resist a sustained
and extensive campaign designed to prevent these defendants
facing trial. That they have now done so is testament to the
skills, professionalism and tenacity of those involved."
Innospec, which has a manufacturing plant in the UK,
continues to supply TEL to the aviation market under its trade
name AvTEL, according to its website. Company officials in the
United States and UK were not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by Kirstin Ridley, editing by David Evans)