Rolls-Royce is hit by claims of bribery in China engine deals

Marion Dakers

ref="">ROLLS-ROYCE has been accused of bribing two airlines in China, as more details emerge about a corruption investigation centred on the FTSE 100 firm’s overseas arms.

The engineering giant said in December that it had handed information to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), after an internal probe uncovered “matters of concern” in Indonesia and China.

Allegations that Rolls made payments linked to engine contracts with Air China in 2005 and China Eastern in 2010, which appeared in a string of online messageboard posts under the pseudonym “Soaringdragon” in 2011, were reported yesterday by the Sunday Times.

Rolls-Royce would not comment yesterday on whether the $2bn (£1.2bn) engine deals form part of its internal investigation, or whether the SFO has been alerted to the claims.

The SFO did not respond to calls for comment yesterday.

The investigation began after online posts by a former Rolls-Royce employee detailing claims of payments in Indonesia caught the watchdog’s attention.