COURT: Smith & Ouzman pair found guilty of making corrupt payments

Smith & Ouzman, printers in Brampton Road Hampden Park Eastbourne. February 21st 2013 E08189P ENGSUS00120130221121838

Smith & Ouzman, printers in Brampton Road Hampden Park Eastbourne. February 21st 2013 E08189P ENGSUS00120130221121838

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Eastbourne printing firm Smith and Ouzman Ltd and two employees have been convicted as a result of a Serious Fraud Office investigation into corrupt payments made for the award of business contracts to the company.

The corrupt payments were made to public officials for business contracts in Kenya and Mauritania.

The Brampton Road company, which specialises in security documents such as ballot papers and certificates, was convicted of three counts of corruptly agreeing to make payments, contrary to section 1(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906, at Southwark Crown Court.

Christopher John Smith, 71, former chairman of Smith and Ouzman from Ripe, was convicted of two counts of corruptly agreeing to make payments.

Nicholas Charles Smith, 43, former sales and marketing director of Smith and Ouzman, from Cavendish Avenue, was convicted of three counts of corruptly agreeing to make payments.

Timothy Hamilton Forrester, 57, former international sales manager for Smith and Ouzman, was acquitted of all three counts of corruptly agreeing to make payments.

Abdirahman Mohamed Omar, 38, a sales agent, age 38, from London, was acquitted of one count of corruptly agreeing to make payments in relation to a contract in Somaliland.

David Green CB QC, director of the SFO, said, “This is the SFO’s first conviction of a corporate for offences involving bribery of foreign public officials.

“Such criminality, whether involving companies large or small severely damages the UK’s commercial reputation and feeds corrupt governance in the developing world. We are very grateful to the Kenyan authorities for their assistance in this case.”

Sentencing is due to take place on February 12.