In a coherent letter dated February, 9 US lawmakers urge the Department of Justice to probe British American Tobacco (BAT) firm – one of UK’s biggest companies for extensive role in corruption. With its headquarters based in London, the company is facing allegation that it is involved in greasing the hands of Kenyan officials and policymakers in the country. The nine lawyers said urgent investigation is required to bring to light the BAT role in the growing corruption in the country, an allegation a BBC panorama programme says the company has denied. The Guardian quoted Congressman Lloyd Doggett and other politicians suspect as saying the company may have committed a breach to the rules of both the Anti-Bribery and Foreign Corrupt Practices Acts. According to the Guardian report, the company executives may be marched to jail if the company is found guilty of this crime. It will also show the shameful and grievous choice by BAT to swell and grow their profit rapidly at the expense of the well-being of thousands. Doggett noted that any corporation that enjoys the benefits of their stock exchange must comply with anti-bribery laws. The lawmakers revealed that more documents have surfaced following the bribery allegations, and it shows the offence may have been “more widespread than previously thought.” Read Also: Jubilee MP Slams EACC Claim That Waiguru Isn’t Corrupt, Accuses Agency Of Being Used Doggett noted that the company may have caused deliberate damage to competitors and also involved in cooperate undercover work. Senator Richard Blumenthal stated:
The tobacco industry has a long history of placing profits above public health and these allegations raise clear questions about BAT.
Blumenthal said the tobacco companies strives to exploit the growth opportunity in Africa without minding the bad effect of actions such as one BAT might be involved, which can endanger the World Health Organization’s global tobacco treaty. The treaty, if fully implemented in 2050, will help end tobacco companies from manipulating policy with their deep pockets and protect more than 90 per cent of the world’s population. Also mentioned in the BAT scam is Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua who was accused of receiving a £50,000 (Sh7.3 million today) bribe while campaigning for president in 2013. The letter was endorsed by Senators Edward Markey (Massachusetts), Jeff Merkley (Oregon), Jack Reed (Rhode Island) and Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut). The Congressmen who inscribed their signatures included Niki Tsongas (Massachusetts), John Conyers (Michigan), Bill Keating (Massachusetts) and Jerome Nadler (New York). A BAT spokesman told The Guardian that the company can handle anything the investigators throw up to them. Guardian quoted the spokesman as saying,
We take the allegations of historic misconduct in East Africa extremely seriously and are working with our external legal counsel to fully investigate all these claims.