Following a three-year investigation into British American Tobacco, in January 2021 the SFO determined that this case did not meet the evidential tests as defined in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. As with all cases that fail this first limb of the Code, it was therefore not in the public interest to continue with the investigation.
The SFO is aware of the allegations made in the BBC’s Panorama programme in September 2021.
The SFO continues to assist its international law enforcement partners with ongoing investigations related to this matter, and will assess any new material on its merits, as with any allegation of serious fraud, bribery or corruption. The SFO does not disclose the actions it takes to assess allegations.