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SFO charges two for South Korea bribes

The UK Serious Fraud Office charged two former employees of an instrument and monitoring company over corrupt payments to South Korean officials.

Dr. Cansun Guralp, founder of Güralp Systems Limited, and Andrew Bell, managing director, conspired to make corrupt payments to a public official and employee of the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM), the SFO said Friday.

Güralp Systems is an engineering company specializing in broadband seismic instrumentation and monitoring systems.

KIGAM, founded in 1918, is a government-funded geoscience research organization in South Korea.

In the United States, KIGAM's former director was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison in October 2017.

Heon-Cheol Chi, 59, was jailed for using a Southern California bank account to launder bribes he received from two unnamed seismological companies, the DOJ said.

The SFO said Friday the defendants committed the alleged acts between April 2002 and September 2015.

The charges come after an SFO criminal investigation that began on December 3, 2015.

The SFO hadn't previously disclosed the investigation.

Both defendants have been charged with conspiracy to make corrupt payments under the Criminal Law Act 1977 and Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

Guralp and Bell are scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on August 20, 2018.


Harry Cassin is the managing editor of the FCPA Blog.