My Department, and especially the Serious Fraud Office and the Crown Prosecution Service, has contributed to the UK action plan on overseas corruption. We have also provided training and technical expertise in tackling corruption to other countries, such as Romania, Macedonia, Ghana, Kenya and Bulgaria.
When the Prime Minister responded to the all-party group on Africa report on the UK and corruption in Africa he said that the Government planned
"to establish a dedicated unit jointly housed by the City of London and Metropolitan Police Forces to investigate allegations of foreign bribery by UK businesses, and use of the UK's financial system to launder the proceeds of corruption."
What use will the SFO make of those investigatory resources to ensure that cases of trans-national bribery are brought before the courts?
My hon. Friend has been pressing for the setting up of that unit and, as part of the national action plan on overseas corruption, the Metropolitan police and the City of London police have formed a specialised unit that will begin operations in three weeks' time, from
The Solicitor-General must be aware of the concern that Romania and Bulgaria are being allowed to join the European Union before they have put their own houses in order. What threat does he believe that they pose to this country in terms of organised crime and corruption?
Clearly, we are watching with care the impact that crime has in a number of eastern European states. We want the European Union to expand, but on the right terms, so we are developing much closer links with Bulgaria and Romania to ensure that we have the facility to work with them and to assist them, where we can, in tackling some of the crime and corruption problems that they obviously have.