SFO scales back Rolls-Royce investigation

FILE PHOTO: A Rolls-Royce logo is seen at the company's aerospace engineering and development site in Bristol, Britain, December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

(Reuters) - Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has dropped its investigation of some individuals associated with Rolls-Royce Holdings RR.L, it said on Monday, narrowing the number of suspects in a long-running bribery probe.

Rolls-Royce signed a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the SFO in a 497 million pound settlement almost two years ago, clearing the company but allowing for continued investigation and potential prosecution of individuals.

“Some individuals were notified that they are no longer suspects in the Rolls-Royce investigation,” the SFO said on Monday.

The company has been investigated by British, U.S. and Brazilian authorities into alleged criminal conduct spanning three decades, at least seven jurisdictions and three of the company’s business sectors.

Rolls-Royce said it notes the latest action taken by the SFO and that it continues to co-operate fully with authorities pursuing inquiries into individuals.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru and Kate Holton in London; Editing by Bernard Orr and David Goodman