RCMP announces international task force to combat foreign bribery

OTTAWA – The RCMP is teaming up with the FBI, the Australian Federal Police and the City of London Police in a cross-border effort to combat the bribing of foreign officials.

The newly formed International Foreign Bribery Taskforce will meet annually to discuss trends and challenges related to foreign bribery crimes, as well as to share methodologies and best practices.

The initiative, announced Tuesday, was officially started in May when all of the parties involved signed a memorandum of understanding.

The task force will allow Canada, the U.S., Australia and the U.K. to work together to strengthen investigations into foreign bribery, the RCMP said in a statement.

Such investigations are often difficult to carry out because of the fact that they involve multiple jurisdictions.

“Bribery and corruption are borderless crimes which cross many police jurisdictions,” RCMP assistant commissioner Gilles Michaud said in a statement.

“The International Foreign Bribery Taskforce will allow us to work with our law enforcement partners in North America, Australia and the U.K., and focus on these crimes, which cause serious moral and political concerns, undermine good governance and sustainable economic development, and distort the conditions of international competition.”

Last month, the Mounties announced the launch of their new National Division, which will specialize in fighting corruption in the federal government and abroad.

The RCMP has taken on several high-profile corruption cases lately, both within Canada and beyond, such as the international bribery case involving SNC-Lavalin Group and the Senate spending scandal.