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Joshua Hughes
Joshua Hughes

The Bribe [EXCLUSIVE]



It was the company with jet-set style and dirty hands. From the tiny principality of Monaco, Unaoil reached across the globe to pay multi-million dollar bribes in oil rich states. The beneficiaries? Some of the biggest companies in England, Europe, America and Australia. Read more




The Bribe


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Middle of the road Noir despite a top-notch cast of Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, and John Hodiak, the beautiful hot-sunny island setting of Los Trancos, and a spectacular firework ending shootout. Charles Laughton is wonderful as a drunken sweaty sleazy briber, and Vinny Price is doing what he does best, closer to the end. Issue is I wasn't invested in the leads(characters), nor the motivation of the story despite Robert Taylor usually coming off strong and Ava Gardner often sizzling as a steak.


Odebrecht S.A. (Odebrecht), a global construction conglomerate based in Brazil, and Braskem S.A. (Braskem), a Brazilian petrochemical company, pleaded guilty today and agreed to pay a combined total penalty of at least $3.5 billion to resolve charges with authorities in the United States, Brazil and Switzerland arising out of their schemes to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to government officials around the world.


Braskem, whose American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, separately pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal information filed in the Eastern District of New York charging it with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. Braskem agreed to pay a total criminal penalty of $632 million. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled. In related proceedings, Braskem also settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Ministerio Publico Federal in Brazil and the Office of the Attorney General in Switzerland. Under the terms of its resolution with the SEC, Braskem agreed to a total of $325 million in disgorgement of profits. Braskem agreed to pay Brazilian authorities 70 percent of the total criminal penalty and agreed to pay the Swiss authorities 15 percent. The department has agreed to credit the criminal penalties paid to Brazilian and Swiss authorities as part of its agreement with the company. The United States will receive $94.8 million, an amount equal to 15 percent of the total criminal fines paid by Braskem.


According to its admissions, Odebrecht engaged in a massive and unparalleled bribery and bid-rigging scheme for more than a decade, beginning as early as 2001. During that time, Odebrecht paid approximately $788 million in bribes to government officials, their representatives and political parties in a number of countries in order to win business in those countries. The criminal conduct was directed by the highest levels of the company, with the bribes paid through a complex network of shell companies, off-book transactions and off-shore bank accounts.


Kreacher suddenly returns, clutching a flailing Mundungus Fletcher, who attempts to use his wand. Hermione disarms him, and Ron wrestles him to the floor. With Kreacher wielding a pot at him, Mundungus admits he used the Locket to bribe a Ministry woman who caught him selling goods without a license. The woman was short, wearing a hair bow, and looked rather like a "toad." Harry, Ron, and Hermione exchange shocked expressions; the old scars on Harry's hand begin to prickle.


MasterCard Inc. used a novel tactic for its latest round of anti-bribery compliance training: It released an 11-minute film recreating the story of Richard Bistrong, who is now chief executive of an anti-bribery consulting firm who but who previously went to jail for violating U.S. anti-bribery and U.K. trade laws.


ADB defines bribery as the act of offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting, directly or indirectly, anything of value to influence improperly the actions of another party. A bribe can be disguised as a gift, money, property, privilege, or even a personal favor.


When you are offered a bribe directly, assess the situation first. Someone attempting to bribe you may apply a great deal of pressure on you to accept it. Assess whether declining the bribe could make things more complicated or could lead to a hostile situation. Be particularly cautious when dealing with someone who has power or is part of the same organization you are in.


Maintain presence of mind. A bribe can come in moments when you least expect it. In the event that you get caught off guard, try your best to take note of important details - who is bribing you; when and where you were approached; and what is being offered and what is at stake. These are specifics that can help back up your claim.


Be sure to notify your superior immediately and provide a full account of what took place. Timing is essential here. Choosing to delay notifying the proper authorities could put your integrity and credibility in question. Informing your supervisor or a person in authority is the most important thing to do if you are ever offered a bribe.


The same principles also apply when a bribe is sent to you anonymously via mail or courier. Upon delivery, take photographs of the contents and packaging, which could have additional information that could lead to identifying the briber.


An ADB staff reported a bribery attempt by an individual associated with an infrastructure project funded by ADB. The motivation for the act was possibly to elicit a favorable response from the ADB staff with respect to procurement currently with ADB for endorsement. The bribe was in the form of cash worth approximately $1,500. It was handed over to the ADB staff in a folder containing project documents.


Bribery is considered a corrupt practice under ADB's Integrity Principles and Guidelines (see para. 2A). When alerted of the bribery attempt, ADB responded promptly by providing the ADB staff with support and guidance in dealing with the situation. ADB management took custody of the bribe money and took over communications with respect to the project. Remedial and preventive actions were taken by ADB's Office of Anticorruption and Integrity.


Against the landscape of increasing enforcement activity against bribery and corruption, a typical fact pattern that often emerges is one where a person bribes the employee of a customer in order to gain an advantage and get more business from that customer. The giver of that bribe will have, under the laws of most regimes, committed a crime of corruption. If the giver was acting on behalf of his principal, the principal may also incur legal liability for the acts of its agent, the giver.


But what if the giver fails to give the bribe at all? What if he chooses to pocket the payment instead of giving it to the employee of that customer? He may have arguably defrauded his principal but could he have committed the crime of corruption?


The Singapore court showed in the LV case that it was prepared to overcome the evidential hurdle that the bribe was never paid. It nevertheless found the Accused guilty of corruption by holding him culpable for corruptly receiving the payments. On the facts, the Accused had received S$49,500 from cheques signed by Lim and himself. It would not be difficult to conceive of scenarios where the accused was using his own monies for the intended bribe but did not actually carry out the payment. In such cases, the accused would not have received anything and may not be liable for corrupt receipt.


The Singapore court was also prepared to find the Accused guilty of corruption even in circumstances where Artmazement could not have gained any business advantage from LV since the bribes were not actually paid to the LV employee. This approach draws a parallel with section 9 of the PCA where a person who has corruptly received or given a bribe would be guilty even if the recipient did not have the power, right or opportunity to carry out the act that he was bribed for.


Corruption is widespread in India and anti-corruption laws are rarely implemented. A study conducted by Transparency International in 2010 reports that 54% of Indians have participated in bribe-related activities. According to the World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index, India ranks 83rd out of 97 countries indexed on "Absence of Corruption." According to KPMG's 2011 survey on Bribery and Corruption, reasons for poor enforcement are due to: a belief that law will not change anything; a lack of understanding of the law; political interference; delayed justice that impairs the effectiveness of the verdict; involvement of multiple agencies in fact-finding; soft penalties; fear of retribution/victimization by affected parties; a sense of hopelessness rooted in the tolerance of corruption; and a power imbalance. A holistic and affordable solution is required to address each of the above challenges and tackle the bribery problem in India.


Bribe Hacker's primary goal is to act as a bridge between law enforcement agencies and victims of bribery. Through an interactive website, victims of bribery will share their bribery experiences, with the option of take action against the corrupt perpetrators. Key program activities include:


Bribery and corruption cannot be remedied overnight. By highlighting the stories of bribe-hackers who help book perpetrators of bribery and corruption on our website, Bribe Hackers will slowly remedy the situation of apathy and indifference. Bribe Hackers will work with the media to introduce bribe-hacking stories into the mainstream. They will reach a social impact of 1,000 success stories of bribe-hacking heroes within a span of 5 years. The biggest stakeholder in the project is the youth, and the project will create an impact on youth lives by giving them a channel to fight against a form of corruption that they have most likely already faced.


"Bribery is a common way of doing business in a lot ofplaces," says Steve Veltkamp, president of Biz$hop, animport/export business and consulting service in Port Angeles,Washington. Veltkamp, 47, notes that bribery is most common inunderdeveloped countries. "Where basic jobs don't paywell, it's tempting for an official to 'supplement'income that way," says Veltkamp. "It's deeplyingrained." 041b061a72


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