Lesotho bribery case warning

James Lamont and Thomas Land
Financial Times
September 19, 2002

Acres International, the Canadian engineering consulting company, yesterday warned that its conviction for bribery by the Lesotho high court could jeopardise international construction companies’ operations in the developing world.

The court this week found Acres guilty on two counts of bribery involving C$680,000 (ý280,000) to secure contracts in a $4bn project to supply water from Lesotho to South Africa. Acres will appeal against the verdict.

Acres said it had been unaware that its now deceased local representative in Lesotho had been making illegal payments to the former chief executive of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority. “Acres had no knowledge or suspicion of these payments, could not have anticipated them, had no motive for them and received no benefit.”

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