22 top-level executives, including a senior sales executive at Smith & Wesson, were arrested in what Justice Department officials called the first undercover sting ever aimed at violations of the federal ban on corporate bribes paid to get foreign business.The ban is called the "Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," and was passed in 1977.
[it] prohibits American citizens and companies — and, since 1998, foreign citizens and companies acting in the United States — from bribing foreign government officials to get or keep business.In my opinion this law is an unnecessary attack on U.S. industry. The reality is that bribes are necessary in many nations in order to grease the wheels of commerce. The ban damages the ability of U.S. companies to compete, and criminalizes what is normal business practice in many areas of the world. And, as usual with this sort of international do-gooderism, it gains us nothing. There's just no reason for it. If businessmen are violating foreign laws, they can be arrested and prosecuted under those laws. This sting operation by the FBI is a massive waste of resources to address a non-problem.