China detains British consultant in GSK probe

GSK chief likely to detail the bribery scandal at quarterly results.

New Statesman
GSK. Credit: Getty Images.

A British consultant, who runs a consultancy firm that specialises in accounting fraud investigations in China and has allegedly worked with GlaxoSmithKline, has been arrested as part of a probe into the pharmaceutical firm’s bribery case.

Peter Humphrey is the managing director of  ChinaWhys, a Hong-Kong-based consultancy that probes into accounting frauds for multinational firms operating in the Asian country.  

However, the reason for his arrest has not been officially revealed, reports The Telegraph.

Humphrey was allegedly hired as a contractor for GSK and is believed to be one of the several individuals detained in the country as part of the probe.

However, a GSK spokesman was quoted by the publication as saying that Humphrey has never been an employee of GSK. The spokesman also did not comment on whether ChinaWhys had been hired as a contractor for GSK.

Meanwhile, during the quarterly results presentation, GSK CEO Andrew Witty is expected to discuss what kind of action the firm would take in response to bribery scandal, Reuters reported citing sources familiar with the matter.

The Chinese police are probing into GSK’s more than 3bn Yuan ($374m) transactions, as they found proof that the firm used more than several hundreds of travel agencies since 2007 to pay bribes to the country’s officials and doctors to increase its sales.