On June 24, 2011, after entering a plea of guilty to a charge of bribing a foreign public official, Calgary-based Niko Resources Ltd. (Niko) was sentenced to a fine of approximately $9.5 million and placed on three years’ probation.
This represents the most significant development in Canada’s efforts to fight foreign bribery since the 1999 implementation of Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA) and signals a new era of enforcement of foreign anti-bribery rules in Canada. The RCMP has indicated that it is currently conducting over 20 investigations of Canadian companies allegedly engaged in the corruption of officials overseas.
If it hasn’t already, any Canadian company engaged in cross-border transactions should be carefully reviewing its practices and procedures, including effective due diligence, to ensure full compliance with Canadian anti-corruption laws, and to the extent applicable, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and The Bribery Act 2010 in the United Kingdom.
McCarthy Tétrault’s International Trade and Investment Law Group has extensive experience in assisting Canadian companies in dealing with anti-bribery measures and is available to advise on related compliance, enforcement and strategic planning issues.
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