£100,000 for cartel tip-offs


The construction industry is being targeted in a crackdown on cartels by the Competition and Markets Authority.  And whistle blowers could be in line for a £100,000 reward.

The new campaign is launched in the wake of a 30% rise in tip-offs on the illegal groups and follows a previous drive targeting the business cheats.

The authority wants more people to come forward with information that will help it hunt down businesses that cheat customers by agreeing not to compete with each other and so keep prices high.

A spokesman said: “There are serious penalties for being in a cartel but many workers in the UK know little about them, putting them and their companies at risk.”

As part of the new drive, the CMA is reminding people that if they come forward with information about their involvement, they can receive significant reductions in fines and avoid being disqualified from running a company.

If they are the first to come forward, they can receive total immunity, including from criminal prosecution. Witnesses who blow the whistle can receive a reward of up to £100,000.

Stephen Blake, senior director for cartels, said: “We are committed to tackling cartels wherever we find them. More people are reporting illegal activity to us and we urge anyone with information to come forward.

“If you’re involved, it’s better to be safe not sorry, and to tell us about it first – before someone else does. For those who were not involved but have witnessed illegal activity, we urge them to do the right thing.

“We know that this is a sensitive issue and some people could worry about what might happen to them if they speak to us. All information is treated confidentially and we can discuss any concerns that people may have over keeping their identity secret.”

The campaign will target industries including construction that have a history of reported cartel activity or characteristics that make them vulnerable to cartels.



Article posted 21/2/2018

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