Addresses searched in bribery probe at university

Police have carried out searches at eight addresses in South Wales and Kent and seized documents and electronic equipment as part of a “complex” investigation into alleged bribery offences at a Welsh university.

Aug 1, 2019
By Tony Thompson

A statement issued by South Wales Police on Wednesday (July 31) said: “Officers from Tarian, the regional organised crime unit for southern Wales, have this morning executed a number of warrants as part of an investigation into alleged bribery offences.

“Eight addresses in Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Kent are being searched with the assistance of colleagues from South Wales, Dyfed-Powys and Kent police forces. The enforcement action was carried out in relation to a complaint made by Swansea University to the Serious Fraud Office in late 2018, which was subsequently referred to police.

“No arrests have been made during the searches, however, a number of documents and electronic equipment have been seized. The investigation is complex and remains ongoing.”

A university spokesperson confirmed a formal criminal complaint had been made about the conduct of individuals from both inside and outside the university as a result of evidence uncovered during an internal investigation.

They said: “In accordance with the university’s ordinances, four employees were suspended and the university appointed an external and independent barrister to conduct an independent investigation into the alleged conduct.

“As the university has not completed its disciplinary process, it would not be appropriate to comment further. We continue to cooperate with the authorities in relation to this matter.”

Last week, the university dismissed its vice-chancellor Richard Davies and the dean of the school of management Marc Clement with immediate effect for gross misconduct, following a lengthy internal investigation and disciplinary process.

A decision is still pending on a third employee who has been the subject of a disciplinary investigation, while a fourth has resigned. It was not clear who – if any – of the employees suspended or dismissed are being investigated by the police.

Both Mr Davies and Mr Clement deny any wrongdoing and have said they will appeal.

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