Printers charged with £400,000 corruption case

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

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

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Three members of staff and an agent of Eastbourne-based printing firm Smith & Ouzman have appeared in court over alleged corruption.

Chris Smith, 70, a former chairman of Smith & Ouzman, Nick Smith, 42, sales and marketing manger, Tim Forrester, 45, international sales manager, and agent Abdirahman Omar, 37, are charged with corruptly agreeing to make payments totalling nearly half a million pounds contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said.

The firm, based in Brampton Road, specialises in security documents such as ballot papers, exam certificates and payment vouchers.

The four men are alleged to have made the payments totalling £413,552 to influence the award of business contracts to the company, according to SFO.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place between November 2006 and December 2010 and relate to transactions in Mauritania, Ghana, Somaliland and Kenya.

Chris Smith, Nick Smith, and Forrester, all from East Sussex, and Omar, from London, were released on conditional bail when they appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday this week (October 23).

They will next appear at Southwark Crown Court on November 6.

A spokesperson for Smith & Ouzman said, “We cannot comment on these allegations which are entirely contrary to our principles of business conduct.”