Sweett Group Plc has been fined £2.25m after becoming the first company to be convicted of new bribery laws.

The AIM listed construction firm pleaded guilty to charges last December following a three year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into bribes paid to win contracts in the United Arab Emirates.

His Honour Judge Martin Beddoe, sitting at Southwark Crown Court, issued fines of £1.4m plus an £851,000 confiscation order. In addition, the SFO was awarded £95,000 in costs.

The court heard how the company had 'wilfully ignored' KPMG audits which flagged deficiencies in their operations.

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