Controversial arms dealer Sudhir Choudhrie and his son Bhanu were on Wednesday arrested by British officials investigating allegations that iconic car, aerospace and defence major Rolls-Royce paid bribes for contracts in China and Indonesia.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is investigating allegations that the Choudhries acted as intermediaries for the company.
India-born Sudhir Choudhrie, who has been the focus of investigations in India for other allegations, was reportedly questioned over allegations that Rolls-Royce bribed Tommy Suharto, the son of Indonesia's former president General Suharto, to win a contract.
The Choudhries, who have donated often to the Liberal Democrats party — one of the two ruling coalition partners in the David Cameron government — have since been released on bail without conditions.
A spokesperson for the Choudhries said, “The allegations against Bhanu and Sudhir Choudhrie are strongly denied. Full cooperation is being given to the authorities.”
After the SFO opened its investigation December 23 last year, John Rishton, Rolls-Royce Chief Executive, said, "I want to make it crystal clear that neither I nor the Board will tolerate improper business conduct of any sort and will take all necessary action to ensure compliance. This is a company with exceptional prospects and I will not accept any behaviour that undermines its future success.”