US company admits bribing Philippine airport officials.
An American firm, GE InVision, admitted bribing Philippine officials when it sold explosives detection machines to an airport here, Newsbreak magazine reported in its latest issue, which came off the press Monday.
InVision said that its Filipino sales agent paid US$108,000 “to make gifts or pay cash to influence Filipino government officials to purchase InVision products” in November 2001.
Quoting a US Securities and Exchange Commission report, Newsbreak said InVision sold two airport security devices to the subcontractor responsible for building the airport terminal baggage handling system. At the time of the sale, InVision received repeated requests for a commission from the sale from its agent in the Philippines. But the money was used to pay off officials. InVision recorded the payment in its books as a sales commission.
The US SEC completed its investigation of InVision in February this year and said the company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits American companies from bribing foreign government officials. InVision will pay more than $1 million to settle with the US SEC.
The US SEC report does not mention the amount involved in the sale and the names of persons or government agencies in the Philippines. In an interview with Newsbreak, Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo said his office will immediately request the US government for information on the parties involved. “We’re confident we will get it and we will prosecute and file charges against those guilty,” he said.
The Philippines is one of three countries in Asia where InVision made improper payments to government officials. The others are Thailand and China.
Yea riiight, Marcelo, dream on. Even if he gets the names the court case will become a race between a guilty verdict and the perps death by natural causes.