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Prosecuting Corruption

Bribery involves making illegal payments to people in positions of power in order to change their decisions.

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Misconduct in public office

Medical equipment expert convicted of £1.7m corruption

26/07/2017

An expert in the procurement of medical equipment who received £1.7m in corrupt payments to help medical supply companies win tenders has been convicted of corruption.

Wassim Tappuni was engaged as an expert to represent the interests of The World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme in the bidding process for numerous medical projects.

Tappuni was required to review highly confidential documents and to evaluate the technical aspects of bids submitted by companies bidding in processes between 2007 and 2011, Southwark Crown Court heard.

However, Tapping provided a number of bidding companies with information on what The World Bank was looking for in the bids, asked them to help discredit the bids of others, and advised on how to edit their bids to assist them in winning. In return, he would receive a prearranged percentage of the contract value should the bidding company with whom he had the corrupt arrangement be successful.

Between April 2008 to June 2013, Tappuni received 65 corrupt payments totalling just under £1.7m. Money was received under false invoices and much of it was paid into bank accounts in Switzerland. None of the payments were declared so no tax was paid.

Tappuni was convicted by a jury at Southwark yesterday (July 25).

Elspeth Pringle, from the CPS, said: "Tappuni was a man consumed by greed. He betrayed his obligations to the organisations who engaged him in relation to contracts worth some £43 million to receive some £1.7 million in corrupt payments.

"Tappuni denied the allegations but the evidence put forward by the CPS meant he was convicted. This has been a long and complex investigation conducted by the City of London Police who received considerable assistance and co-operation from the World Bank and investigators across Europe."

Tappuni will be sentenced on 22 September 2017.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. Elspeth Pringle is a Prosecutor in the CPS Specialist Fraud Division
  2. Wassim Tappuni had denied 13 counts of conspiracy to corrupt but was found guilty by a jury on 25 July
  3. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  4. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233