January 20, 2014 / 2:17 AM / 6 years ago

SFO granted extra funds to probe Rolls-Royce corruption case: FT

A Rolls-Royce aircraft engine of a British Airways (BA) Boeing 747 passenger aircraft is seen at Heathrow Airport in west London April 7, 2011. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

(Reuters) - The Serious Fraud Office has received additional funding from the UK Treasury in its probe of alleged bribery and corruption by defense group Rolls-Royce (RR.L) in China and Indonesia, the Financial Times reported, citing sources.

The Serious Fraud Office and the UK Treasury declined a comment on the story.

The Treasury has agreed to so-called blockbuster funding “in the low millions” of pounds for the SFO’s probe, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper on Sunday.

The Financial Times said that the secret funding could explain why the SFO made the surprise announcement before Christmas that it was accelerating its interest in Rolls-Royce to an official criminal probe.

Rolls Royce, the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft, in December last year confirmed SFO’s investigation in the matter.

Tommy Suharto, the youngest son of Indonesia’s late president, in November 2013 denied allegations that he received any bribes from Rolls-Royce.

Allegations of corruption are not new to the defense and aerospace industry, in which companies commonly use individuals or companies as intermediaries in countries where they do not have a large presence.

BAE Systems (BAES.L), Europe’s biggest defense company, was fined $450 million by the United States and Britain in 2010, following long-running corruption investigations at home and abroad into defense deals in Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore

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