Diageo, the global drinks firm, has reportedly agreed to pay the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) $16m (£9.8m) to settle a long-running bribery investigation. The maker of Smirnoff vodka, Captain Morgan rum and Guinness beer had been under scrutiny from the SEC for several years as part of an investigation into whether its employees or contractors paid bribes to government officials in South Korea, India and Thailand. Diageo was charged under the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Scott Friestad, associate director of the SEC’s division of enforcement, said: “As a result of Diageo’s lax oversight and deficient controls, the subsidiaries routinely used third parties, inflated invoices and other deceptive practices to disguise the true nature of the payments.”