GSK Bribery Plot Thickens

Authorities in China have issued formal charges against British man Peter Humphrey and his Chinese-American wife who have been linked to the GlaxoSmithKline bribery scandal.

China’s state news agency, Xinhua has reported that Peter Humphrey and his wife YU Yingzeng have been charged with illegally obtaining and selling private information. Humphrey and his wife had been working as consultants for GSK, when they arrested in August 2013.

“Prosecutors have found that the couple illegally trafficked a huge amount of personal information on Chinese citizens to seek profits,” the Xinhua news agency said.

“The personal information traded by the couple included household registration details, background of family members, real estate, vehicles, call log and exit-entry records. The couple also obtained the information by means such as secret photography, infiltration or tailing after someone.”

Peter Humphrey has also appeared on CCTV, which is China’s state TV channel, wearing orange prison clothing. Speaking in English, he said: “I deeply regret, having offended any Chinese law, it certainly was not my intention to violate Chinese law, or to cause any harm. If we have broken Chinese law, then I feel very ashamed about that, and I’m very regretful about that, and I apologise”.

Peter Humphrey and his wife represent just one part of a unravelling case of alleged bribery, black mail, a sex tape and industrial espionage. In March of 2013, the British based CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Andrew Witty and a number of the company’s other top executives, reportedly received from an email which contained an attachment. The email was full of allegations that GSK China division had been bribing doctors and hospitals to buy GSK products.

What was attached to the email is rumoured to be a intimate video recording of the China boss of BSK, Mark Reilly and his Chinese girlfriend. Humphrey and his wife have run a well established company called ChinaWhys, they were reportedly employed by GSK to get to the bottom of this email and find out who had recorded the video as well.

According to the ChinaWhys website, it “specialises in discreet risk mitigation solutions, consulting and investigation services to corporate clients in matters of high sensitivity”.

Any investigation that Peter Humphrey would have carried out could have required him to access the private information of Chinese citizens, this act is considered illegal in China. In a turn of events Humphrey’s son who is based in the UK, believes that his fathers health has deteriorated significantly since he was detained.

A date for trial has been set for August in Shaghai, it has been expected that the trial will be closed, with no access given to the media, diplomats or even the couple’s family. With this date fast approaching it is to wonder what further allegations and tales of GSK in China will be uncovered.

Alex Carson

PiR Resourcing leaders in senior life science resourcing. For more news and information, you can follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn  For all our latest roles in the Life Science sector please click here.

The trial of he and his wife is set for August 7 in Shanghai. It is expected to be closed with no access given to the media, diplomats or even the couple’s family.

Leave a Reply