Which authorities have jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute bribery in your jurisdiction?

Bribery & Corruption

Australia Small Flag Australia

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigates bribery and corruption allegations at a federal level. State and territory police investigate pursuant to state and territory laws.
Generally, at a federal level, prosecutions are undertaken by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP). Although the AFP is authorised to commence a prosecution, the CDPP may determine that a prosecution commenced by the AFP should not proceed.

At the state and territory level, the relevant state or territory department of public prosecutions would be involved in conjunction with the state or territory police.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is the main corporate regulator and may be involved in investigations and prosecutions into corrupt conduct where an Australian corporation is involved, particularly for offences relating to false company records.

Poland Small Flag Poland

Crimes of corruption are investigated and prosecuted by public prosecutors, who are supervised by the General Public Prosecutor.

The Police also has the authority to conduct criminal investigations. The investigation of certain types of offences may also be conducted by public agencies, e.g. the Central Anti-corruption Bureau (CBA) and the Internal Security Agency (ABW). The CBA acts as a special service dedicated to combating corruption in public and economic life, particularly in public and local government institutions. It is responsible for identifying, preventing and detecting crimes and offences, prosecuting the perpetrators as well as control, analytical and preventive activities.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

The following bodies are mandated to investigate alleged offences under Irish bribery law, relating to both foreign and domestic public officials:

  • the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (this is an office of the Irish police force);
  • the Revenue Commissioners;
  • the Criminal Assets Bureau; and
  • the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

The prosecution of offences is carried out by the Director of Public Prosecutions (“DPP”).

The Standards in Public Office Commission (the “SIPO Commission”) is responsible for the investigation of breaches of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 (as amended). Following an investigation, the SIPO Commission may make a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions if it is of the opinion that an office holder or public servant the subject of the investigation has committed an offence.

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

The Brazilian Anticorruption law provides for two different proceedings that may be initiated against a legal entity in the event of a violation/wrongdoing: an administrative proceeding and a judicial proceeding.

Administrative proceeding: The administrative proceeding for the investigation and application of penalties are incumbent on the maximum authority of each agency or entity of the Executive, Legislative or Judiciary Branches, as applicable. The commencement of the administrative proceeding could result from an “ex officio” act of the competent authority (the authority itself would initiate the investigation) or from a report from third parties (thus considered as any party that is not the competent authority). In any of the cases, the administrative proceeding shall guarantee to the investigated party(ies) the right of defence (which is a fundamental right under the Brazilian Federal Constitution).

The Brazilian Anticorruption Law also provides that the jurisdiction to initiate an administrative proceeding against a legal entity could be delegated (being the sub-delegation expressly forbidden).

From the standpoint of the Federal Executive Branch, the General Controller Office (“Controladoria Geral da União - CGU”) has a concurrent jurisdiction to initiate administrative proceedings under the Brazilian Anticorruption Law or to review the administrative proceedings initiated by other agencies of the Federal Executive Branch. In addition to that, the CGU has jurisdiction to initiate and decide on the proceedings for investigation of violations against foreign public agencies or authorities.

Once an administrative proceeding under the Brazilian Anticorruption Law is initiated, a commission shall be designated, and such commission shall be composed by two or more stable public servers.

Judicial Proceeding: The judicial proceeding for the investigation and application of penalties shall be initiated by the Attorney’s Office (“Advocacia Pública”) of the respective entity or agency and/or by the Public Prosecutor’s Office (“Ministério Público”), both State and Federal, depending on the agencies and/or officials affected/involved in the wrongdoing.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is the main prosecutor with the responsibility for enforcing the Bribery Act. Broadly speaking, when determining whether to commence a prosecution (against corporates or individuals), the SFO will consider both the evidential case against the suspect and whether a prosecution would be in the public interest.

UAE Small Flag UAE

There are numerous Authorities that have jurisdiction to combat bribery and corruption:

  1. The Anti-Corruption U nit (known as the Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority) was established in 2015 by Abu Dhabi Law no 14 of 2008 which applies to public sector bodies;
  2. The State Audit Institution (SAI) which is also for public sector bodies;
  3. The Central Bank of the UAE has the Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit;
  4. The Police Forces of the UAE (jurisdiction restricted to each Emirates jurisdiction);
  5. The Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority;
  6. Finally, the only f ree zone to have their own specific Authority, (apart from the Abu Dhabi Global Market, which is still relatively new and we are not dealing with it here) is the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) which has the Dubai Financial Services Authority;
  7. Dubai has also passed a law that will allow for the creation of the Dubai Economic Security Centre (DESC) which will focus on bribery and corruption.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

The main authorities are the Corrupt Practice Investigation Bureau (CPIB); the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC); the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Office (CAD); the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX).

The CPIB is the primary authority investigating, and the AGC the primary authority prosecuting bribery.

China Small Flag China

From a criminal law perspective, violations that do not involve state functionaries are investigated by the Public Security Bureau (“PSB”) and transferred to the prosecution department of the People’s Procuratorate (“Procuratorate”) for prosecution. Criminal violations involving state functionaries were previously investigated and prosecuted by the Procuratorate (the anti-corruption department shall be responsible for the investigation, and the prosecution department shall be responsible for the prosecution), whilst the authority for criminal investigation has been transitioned to the newly established Supervisory Commission following the Law on Supervision which took effect on March 20, 2018, with the prosecution still being handled by the Procuratorate.

From an administrative law perspective, violations regarding bribery and corruption are mostly investigated and penalized by the Administration for Industry and Commerce (“AIC”), which is currently under the process of being incorporated into the Market Regulatory Administration (“MRA”) in line with the organization restructure of the State Council which was approved by the National People's Congress in March 2018. Also, in accordance with the Law on Supervision, the administrative violations involving state functionaries are investigated by the Supervisory Commission. Other industrial governing authorities such as the China Bank and Insurance Supervision and Administration Committee are empowered with the investigation rights for specific industries, that do not involve state functionaries. Unless the violation is escalated to criminal level upon investigation, it will not involve any further prosecution steps.

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

From an administrative legal standpoint, the authorities in charge of investigating bribery cases are the Ministry of Public Administration or the applicable State/local bodies, the Internal Control Bodies, the Supreme Federation Audit’s Office, the relevant prosecutor offices of the States and/or the corresponding Units for Liability of the State Productive Companies.

In case of minor administrative offences, the sanctioning authorities are the Ministry of Public Administration or the applicable State bodies, the Internal Control Bodies, and/or the corresponding Unit for Liability of the State Productive Companies; whereas for those cases involving serious administrative offences or private conducts related thereto, the sanctioning authority shall be the Federal Court of Administrative Justice or the applicable body in each State.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, from a criminal stand point, the authority in charge of investigating bribery will be the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Office, once the head of such entity is appointed; until then, the authority in charge of investigating bribery is the public prosecutor (Ministerio Público) (“MP”). The authority in charge of sanctioning such conducts is the judicial authority through a Judicial Court (Tribunal de Enjuiciamiento).

Noteworthy to mention, even though the creation of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Office was effective on 2015, as of this date, the head of such entity has not yet been appointed, due to the lack of agreement within the Senate, which is in charge of overseeing its appointment. This subject has been one of national debate and controversy lately.

Greece Small Flag Greece

The core investigation authority is the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor and the Special Body of Investigators for acts of corruption (both are provided for in Law 4022/2011). The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor may engage other agencies or Authorities to provide assistance in specific fields or investigations which require special knowledge, such as the Hellenic FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit), the FECU (Financial and Economic Crime Unit), the Financial Police (special department within the Police), the General Inspector of Public Administration, the Hellenic Capital Market Commission etc.

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor is responsible to collect first evidence on possible acts of corruption and then orders an investigation by the Investigators of Law 4022/2011. The decision to refer cases of corruption to trial is not done by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor or the Investigators but – following standard procedure – by a Judicial Council (Three Judges having sessions in camera).

India Small Flag India

Considering the multiple legislations inter-alia dealing with aspects of corruption, there are different authorities who have jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute cases of bribery and corruption in India. The said authorities (as stipulated under each of the Acts) are summarized herein below:

  • Under IPC, the jurisdictional local police register and investigate cases relating to offences such as criminal conspiracy, criminal misappropriation, criminal breach of trust, cheating and fraud. The Court of the jurisdictional Magistrate has power to try the cases registered for the said offences.
  • Chapter IV of PCA lists the persons authorized to investigate cases under the Act. Usually the Central Bureau of Investigation (established under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act) and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (established under notifications issued separately by every State Government) investigate cases of corruption under the PCA. The cases are then tried by jurisdictional Special Courts presided over by Special Judges appointed by the Central Government.
  • Under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, there are four authorities exercising power over cases involving Benami transactions. The said authorities are (a) Initiating Officer, (b) Approving Authority, (c) Administrator and (d) Adjudicating Authority. Under the Act, the Central Government is also empowered to establish an Appellate Tribunal to hear appeals against the orders passed by the Adjudicating Authority. Presently the Income Tax Authorities exercise powers and functions of the ‘authorities’ under the Act .
  • An Adjudicating Authority consisting of a Chairman and two members is appointed by the Central Government under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The Adjudicating Authority is empowered to receive complaints and try cases under this Act. Presently the Enforcement Directorate, established under the Ministry of Finance investigates and prosecutes cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 as well as the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.
  • The Central Vigilance Commission (consisting of a Chairperson and two members) is appointed under the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003, for supervising investigation of corruption cases (under PCA) in central government departments, government companies and local government bodies.
  • Investigation into cases under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 may be conducted by such authority as the Central Government may specific and the authority so appointed has all powers which an officer-in-charge of a police station has while investigating a cognizable offence .
  • Under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, Lokpal comprises of a chairperson and up to eight members. Lokpal has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption involving, the prime minister, ministers, members of Parliament, public servants and other central government employees, other than members of armed forces. Lokayuktas function at the state-level and perform similar duties, like the Lokpal.
  • The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (‘SFIO’) is a multi-disciplinary organization set up under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, for detecting and prosecuting or recommending for prosecution white-collar crimes/frauds. SFIO is empowered to investigate the affairs of companies based on an order from the Central Government which may be issued under certain circumstances specified under the Companies Act.

Angola Small Flag Angola

Law no. 3/96, April 5th 1996, created the High Authority against Corruption, an independent entity, that was meant to act alongside the National Parliament, with the purpose of developing actions of prevention, enquiry and reporting of acts of corruption and fraud committed in the exercise of administrative powers to the competent authority for penal or disciplinary action. The competences of the High Authority include, as provided in this statute, (i) undertaking enquiries and other investigation efforts to assess the legality of certain actions or administrative procedures, within the relations between the Public Administration and private entities and (ii) monitoring processes along with the competent entities for the penal or disciplinary procedures. Despite being provided for in the Angolan Law since 1996, the High Authority against Corruption has never been effectively created, and it is not, at present, operating. However, on May 1st 2016, the biggest Angolan opposition party (UNITA) disclosed its intention to move forward with the effective creation of the High Authority against Corruption.

Under Article 60.2 of the Law on the Criminalization of Money Laundering Underlying Offences (“LCMLUO”), the fight against the crimes of corruption is a competence of the Public Prosecution Office, aided by the national police.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

It is incumbent upon the Public Prosecution Services to conduct a criminal enquiry with the assistance of competent criminal police authorities, in particular, the Judiciary Police.

Regarding crimes of corruption, the Central Department for Criminal Investigation and Action, which is a special department within the Public Prosecution Services, has the power to coordinate and conduct an investigation.

There is also the Council for Prevention of Corruption, which is an independent administrative entity that works with the Court of Auditors and carries out nation-wide activity within the scope of the prevention of corruption.

Denmark Small Flag Denmark

There is no single authority handling bribery cases in Denmark. The State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (Statsadvokaten for Særlig Økonomisk og International Kriminalitet, SØIK) handles cases concerning serious economic crime. A case is considered to involve serious economic crime if it is extensive in scope, has been committed as a part of organised crime, has been committed by means of a specific business method, or if it stands out as particularly qualified in some other manner.

If a case does not meet one of the above criteria or in other words does not involve serious economic crime, the case is handled by the local police.

Germany Small Flag Germany

The public prosecutors’ offices are responsible for the investigation and prosecution of bribery and corruption. They are regularly supported by the criminal police and tax investigators in tax-related cases.

Italy Small Flag Italy

Investigations and prosecution of bribery and corruption are carried out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, the ANAC has some investigative powers.

Macau Small Flag Macau

It is incumbent upon the Ministério Público to conduct the criminal enquiry with the assistance of the competent criminal police bodies.

The Macao Anti-Corruption Commissioner (CCAC) is the public body responsible for fighting corruption. It is an independent body that reports directly to the Chief Executive.
Under Law no. 10/2000, republished by Law no. 4/2012, the CCAC’s duties are:

  1. To develop actions to prevent and repress corruption crimes and related crimes of fraud in the public and in the private sectors;
  2. To carry out investigation and inquiry actions relating to corruption crimes and related crimes of fraud committed by civil servants or that occurred in the private sector;
  3. and

  4. To carry out investigation and inquiry actions relating to corruption crimes and related crimes of fraud committed within the scope of the voter registration and the elections for the bodies of the Special Administrative Region of Macao.

Mozambique Small Flag Mozambique

HRA: The competent authority for the investigation of crimes of corruption is the Central Anti-Corruption Office (Gabinete Central de Combate à Corrupção or “GCCC”), an agency reporting to the General Public Prosecutor Office, as provided in the Organic Law of the Public Ministry (Law no. 22/2007, of August 1st, as amended by Law no. 14/2012, of February 8th).
The GCCC's tasks are to prevent and fight crimes of corruption, embezzlement, illicit economic participation, influence peddling, unlawful enrichment and related crimes. At the same time, the Criminal Investigation Police, at a stage prior to the proceedings, is responsible for conducting the investigation under the direction of the General Public Prosecutor's Office (see article 2 of Decree No. 106/2014 of December 31st).

Japan Small Flag Japan

There is no sole authority which covers all aspects of bribery offences in Japan.
The Public Prosecutors’ Office handles prosecution and investigation of the bribery offences. Investigations of bribery offences are also handled by the Police Organization.

With respect to competent governmental authorities of the relevant legislation/regulations, the National Personnel Authority is in charge of the Ethics Act and the Ethics Code. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is in charge of UCPA

France Small Flag France

According to article 705 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Public Financial Prosecutor’s Office, the investigating judge and the Paris Criminal Court exercise concurrent jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute bribery. The Public Financial Prosecutor’s Office is a specific jurisdiction which has been set out to take into account the great complexity of corruption cases, especially because of the large number of perpetrators, accomplices or victims as well as the geographical area in which they operate.

In addition, a French anticorruption agency (AFA) is also entrusted of investigative powers and may carry out both desk checks and on-the-spot checks. As an administrative authority, AFA’s agents are not able to use police’s coercive powers such as custody.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

Bribery and corruption are investigated by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) if they are committed by or against federal authorities, substantially committed abroad or committed in several cantons if there is no unambiguous focus on one canton. In all other cases, the public prosecutor's office (PPO) of the competent canton in Switzerland is responsible for investigating bribery and corruption.

United States Small Flag United States

The principal federal prosecuting agencies in the US are the United States Department of Justice [DOJ] and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]. The DOJ has authority to bring criminal prosecutions while the SEC has authority to bring civil enforcement actions. In cases involving US issuers or their executives, employees or agents, a company or individual may be subject to parallel investigations by the DOJ and SEC. In criminal investigations, the DOJ works in conjunction with an investigating agency, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Department of Homeland Security.

Updated: June 11, 2018