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DOJ Charges 22 Over Bribery Involving Arms Sales to Africa

Twenty-two employees in the military and law enforcement industry have been indicted for engaging in schemes to bribe foreign government officials to obtain and retain business, in the largest single investigation and prosecution under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The law bars U.S. citizens and companies, as well as foreign people and companies acting in the U.S., from bribing foreign government officials in order to get or keep business.

The indictments charged the individuals, including Smith & Wesson VP for Sales Amaro Goncalves, with violating the FCPA and conspiracy to commit money laundering involving the sale of items including guns and body armor. Also charged was the CEO of Protective Products of America Inc., R. Patrick Caldwell, who previously worked for the U.S. Secret Service for 27 years and was the special agent in charge of the division for the vice president’s protection.

According to the DOJ, the accused individuals engaged in a scheme to pay bribes to the minister of defence for an unnamed African country in order to win a portion of a $15m deal to outfit its presidential guard. But the scheme was part of an undercover operation by the FBI and no minister of defence was actually involved.

For more, read DOJ, Reuters and BBC.

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