In “They sell sea shells” (April 7th 2012) we wrote that “several companies, including global giants such as BAE Systems, have been caught using shells [shell companies] to pay bribes to officials posing as consulting firms”. To clarify, BAE Systems in 2010 announced a settlement with the US Department of Justice and Britain’s Serious Fraud Office. Under the agreement it pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the US Government and one charge of false accounting in the UK. It was reported in the judgment that BAE Systems had made covert payments to foreign advisers via shell companies and made false statements about its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance programme, in addition to other statutory violations. However it was not charged with bribery. We are happy to make that clear.