26 March 2014.
Tokyo based Marubeni Corporation is a multinational providing energy services worldwide. Marubeni admitted that it had paid bribes to high ranking parliamentarian, and to high ranking officials of state owned national electric company known as PLN. It also had paid bribes to foreigners and to other public service personnel in Indonesia. The bribes were paid to secure a US$ 118 million contract for a project known as the Tarahan project. The project was for the expansion of a coal fired power plant located at Tarahan, near Lampung, on the island of Sumatra.
Marubeni said in a report released on 20 March 2014 that it has reached an agreement with the Justice Department concerning the charges and has decided to plead guilty to eight counts of FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) violations.
The Justice Department noted that as a part of the plea agreement Marubeni will implement an advanced global anti-corruption program and to corporate with the authorities with the ongoing investigations. Marubeni will pay a fine of US$ 88 million criminal fine. This fine is subject to the approval of the district court.
This is an expensive lesson for Marubeni. Other Japanese multinationals will think twice before trying to secure contracts by corrupt means. Japanese government would not have taken any action even it had the knowledge of corrupt activities.
Similarly, Indonesian government would not have taken any action even if a complaint was lodged in Indonesia. Now that this much publicity has been given to this case, Indonesian authorities would by now very well know who were on the take. Yet the government will take no effort to investigate or punish the corrupt officials. It was left to a third country, USA, to bring the culprits to the books, thanks to FCPA.