three directors of French engineering group Alstom arrested by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) on suspicion of bribery and corruption after raids on nine properties were last night released without charge.
The SFO said in a statement it suspected bribes were paid in order to win contracts overseas and that this had involved associated money laundering and other offences. The three men arrested – who are aged 52, 51 and 44 – had been interviewed at police stations, it said. A task force of around 150 SFO officers and police were involved in the raids at offices and residential addresses at locations across the UK, including London.
An Alstom spokesman, which makes power equipment and high-speed trains, said the men were released without charge.
SFO director Richard Alderman said: “We are working closely with other criminal justice organisations across the world and are taking steps to encourage companies to report any suspicions of corruption, either within their own business or by other companies or individuals.”