SFO drops probes into Rolls-Royce and GSK

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The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has dropped its investigations into aerospace firm Rolls-Royce and drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline.

The SFO said there was “either insufficient evidence” or it was “not in the public interest” to continue.

Rolls was being investigated over concerns about bribery and corruption, which led the firm to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement in 2017.

GSK’s probe concerned “commercial practices” at the company.

SFO director Lisa Osofsky said: “After an extensive and careful examination I have concluded that there is either insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction or it is not in the public interest to bring a prosecution in these cases.

“In the Rolls-Royce case, the SFO investigation led to the company taking responsibility for corrupt conduct spanning three decades, seven jurisdictions and three businesses, for which it paid a fine of £497.25m.”

The SFO added that no individuals at Rolls face prosecution.

In a statement, Rolls-Royce said it noted the SFO’s announcement and would not be commenting on the decision.

The fraud body’s investigation into Glaxo, which began in 2014, focused on “commercial practices by the company, its subsidiaries and associated persons”.

The SFO said that following “a detailed review of the available evidence and an assessment of the public interest there will be no prosecution in this case”.

A spokesperson for Glaxo said the company was “pleased that the SFO have closed their investigation and concluded that no further action is required”.