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August 2, 2017

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BAT under probe for likely fraud

BRITISH American Tobacco is being investigated for possible fraud regarding company activities in Africa, it said yesterday.

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said that “it is investigating suspicions of corruption in the conduct of business by BAT... its subsidiaries and associated persons”, while a spokeswoman for the tobacco giant said that the probe concerned allegations of misconduct in Africa.

“We have been co-operating with the Serious Fraud Office and British American Tobacco has been informed that the SFO has now opened a formal investigation,” BAT said in a statement.

The BBC in 2015 had reported that BAT allegedly paid bribes to officials in east Africa. The claims were immediately denied by the London-based tobacco giant.

Yesterday’s update comes shortly after BAT completed its takeover of US peer Reynolds American.

BAT paid almost US$50 billion for control of Reynolds.


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