UK printer of Dublin’s Euro election ballot papers charged with corruption

A company that printed ballot papers for the last European elections has been charged with corruption in England.

Smith & Ouzman Limited, an English company, won the Department of the Environment contract to print ballot papers and notice posters in Dublin for the 2009 election.

It has won similar contracts around the world. The firm, two of its directors, an employee, and an agent have all been charged with paying more than £413,552 to secure deals in Mauritania, Ghana, Somaliland, and Kenya.

Britain’s serious fraud office said[/url] the alleged offences took place between Nov 2006 and Dec 2010.

It said the case assumes the company used the money to win business contracts.

In 2009 the company was paid €29,645 plus Vat to print 981,000 ballot papers and 7,000 posters for the Dublin European constituency. It tendered for the work and won out over six other firms. There was no suggestion the Irish tender was part of the corruption probe.

At the time there was criticism about the decision to award this work to companies outside of Ireland.

A year earlier it won a contract to print the vehicle registration certificates here.

The four people charged are English and range in age between 37 and 70.

The second hearing in the case took place at Southwark Crown Court yesterday.


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