International Corruption Unit (ICU)

The International Corruption Unit (ICU) investigates international bribery and corruption and related money laundering offences.

The main functions of the ICU are to investigate:

  • money laundering in the UK resulting from corruption of high-ranking officials overseas;
  • bribery involving UK–based companies or nationals which has an international element;
  • cross-border bribery where there is a link to the UK

The ICU also traces and recovers the proceeds of international corruption

Other functions of the ICU include:

  • Supporting HM Treasury with the enforcement of financial sanctions;
  • Supporting foreign law enforcement agencies with international anti-corruption investigations;
  • Engaging with government and business to reduce the UK’s exposure to the proceeds of corruption; and 
  • Working with business to support increased compliance with the UK Bribery Act 2010

The ICU is supported by the Department for International Development as part of its goal to reduce the poverty caused by corruption. However, the ICU remit is not limited to developing countries.

Background to the ICU

The ICU was created in May 2015 as part of the UK Anti Corruption Plan, combining the remits of the Metropolitan Police Proceeds of Corruption Unit, the City of London Police Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit and elements of the NCA Economic Crime Command.

Protect your business from bribery and corruption

This is especially relevant if you are planning to expand your business to operate overseas and in areas where corruption is a problem. If you are a company or partnership operating in the UK, you need to consider your risks of bribery and the measures needed to prevent wrongdoing.

Find out how to protect your business.

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