Across Continents

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Holidaying in Azerbaijan

July 2nd, 2011

Unintentional I’m sure. Maybe. But, unless you’re very canny, holidaying in Azerbaijan is now a criminal offence. For Brits at least. Courtesy of the Bribery Act 2010. Coming into force a few days ago. True. No one will ever force you to pay a bribe. Depends whether or not you ever want to leave.

Bit of a delve into the Act suggests having "adequate procedures" to prevent bribery is a defence. Wondering if "Don’t get caught" counts? In truth, the trick for individual travellers is to stick doggedly to making small gifts. In recognition of services rendered. That sort of thing. Take them out to dinner. Buy them a coffee. Hospitality falling outside the Act.

Admittedly Azerbaijan is a bit of special case. Endemic corruption. But you don’t have to wander far from the First World and France to encounter dodgy practices. National sport in Greece. And, the Ministry of Justice advises, small sums shouldn’t result in prosecution. But that’s discretionary. Happy travels.

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