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Britain's Serious Fraud Office charges Alstom with corruption

Alstom faces new problems with a corruption case in the UK Reuters/Stephane Mahe

British prosecutors have charged French engineering giant Alstom with corruption after a five-year investigation into large transport projects in India, Poland and Tunisia between 2000 and 2006.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced on Thursday that it is pressing three charges of corruption and three charges of conspiracy to corrupt against Alstom’s British arm.

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“The alleged offences are said to have taken place between 1 June 2000 and 30 November 2006 and concern large transport projects in India, Poland and Tunisia,” an SFO statement said.

The case arose following information provided by Swiss prosecutors.

The first hearing will take place in Westminster, London, on 9 September.

The SFO arrested three members of the company’s UK board in 2010, after launching an investigation in 2009, but later dropped the case.

It may charge other individuals, sources told the Bloomberg news agency.

Alstom said that it is working with the SFO to reach a “fair and appropriate” settlement.

The French government last month clinched a deal with the General Electric in which the US company will buy Alstom’s energy business.