Multiple media resources are reporting that Toyota “alerted the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to possible antibribery violations involving a subsidiary in Thailand”. Those media sources include, among others, the Wall Street Journal (the quoted language is from the Wall Street Journal), Nikki Asia, Bloomberg, and Bangkok’s English newspaper, the Bangkok Post. The Bangkok Post cites Reuters and Bloomberg as its sources. The articles provide background on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), say that Toyota disclosed the “possible violations” a bit less than a year ago – in April of 2020 – and that Toyota is cooperating with authorities, but little about what may have occurred in Thailand.
The comments section of the Bangkok Post article contains some interesting speculation about what occurred in Thailand and some rather negative comments about a certain Thai government agency and Thai defamation laws, but few, if any, negative comments about Toyota.
Nothing is apparent on the websites of the U.S. Department of Justice or U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website about this “possible corrupt activity”, but that could change quickly. But the language of the articles, likely taken from a press release, is curious. Instead of a reference to violations of U.S. anti-corruption laws (the FCPA does not actually refer to bribes), there are references to violations of the so-called “anti-bribery” provisions of the FCPA? The word “possible” is also curious. Other than highlighting these curious word choices, we cannot say more at this stage.