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Bribery probe into Rolls-Royce

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has opened a criminal investigation into bribery and corruption allegations at Rolls-Royce.

The disclosure comes a year after Rolls said it was co-operating with the SFO after its own investigations identified matters of concern involving intermediaries in overseas markets .

It followed a request for information from the SFO about allegations of malpractice in Indonesia and China.

A spokesman for the SFO said today: "We confirm that the director of the Serious Fraud Office has opened a criminal investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption at Rolls-Royce."

The group, which has major sites at Derby and Bristol and employs around 45,000 people worldwide, appointed veteran lawyer Lord Gold last year to review the c ompany's compliance procedures in the wake of the claims.

In March, the company appointed BP director Ian Davis, a former managing director of management consultancy McKinsey & Co, as chairman.

The company's brief statement today said: "Further to our announcement of December 6 2012 relating to concerns about bribery and corruption in overseas markets, we have been informed by the Serious Fraud Office that it has now commenced a formal investigation into these matters."

Rolls-Royce said last year it has significantly strengthened its compliance procedures in recent years, including a new ethics code and an intermediaries policy.

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