British American Tobacco said the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had closed an investigation into suspicions of corruption by the company, more than three years after initiating it. 

The Dunhill and Lucky Strike maker said the SFO was taking no further action in this matter. 

Britain opened a formal investigation in August 2017, nearly two years after allegations of bribery in Africa first surfaced. 

A November 2015 BBC programme described cases of BAT employees bribing officials in East African countries to undermine anti-smoking laws, citing internal documents provided by a whistleblower.

"The evidence in this case did not meet the evidential test for prosecution as defined in the Code for Crown Prosecutors," the SFO said. 

The world's second-biggest tobacco group also came under the scanner of the US Department of Justice and the Office of Foreign Assets Control last year over suspected breaches of sanctions.