SFO requests law firm's documents into ENRC investigation

Dechert, the law firm that was investigating corporate governance issues at Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), has been sent a demand for documents from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Dechert, the law firm that was investigating corporate governance issues at Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), has been sent a demand for documents from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The SFO sent a Section 2a notice to the legal firm after it was fired by ENRC just weeks before it was due to unveil its findings of an investigation into the mining company's business practices in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), sources told the Financial Times.

The notice, which the SFO uses as a way of securing documents, suggests the UK prospector is weighing the launch of a formal criminal inquiry into the FTSE 100 mining company.

It may also be a sign that the SFO may no longer feel it can trust the miner to investigate itself. ENRC was allowed to commission the independent investigation led by Dechert until late March.

"We can only use this power if the director finds reasonable grounds to suspect an offence has been committed involving serious or complex fraud or corruption," the SFO said in a statement about its Section 2 powers.

Section 2a in particular means the SFO can demand information at a pre-investigation stage when it suspects overseas bribery and corruption, the website added.

Dechert looked into ENRC's business practices including potentially fraudulent payments of at least $100m over four years. Another report into ENRC's African mines is pending.

RD

Recommended

Share tips of the week – 30 September
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 30 September

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
30 Sep 2022
The best British tech stocks from a thriving sector
Share tips

The best British tech stocks from a thriving sector

Move over, Silicon Valley. Over the past two decades the UK has become one of the main global hubs for tech start-ups. Matthew Partridge explains why,…
29 Sep 2022
These 3 top value stocks offer
Share tips

These 3 top value stocks offer

Professional investor Adam Rackley of Cape Wrath Capital highlights three overlooked value stocks to buy.
29 Sep 2022
Three top-notch Asian stocks to buy
Share tips

Three top-notch Asian stocks to buy

Professional investors Adrian Lim and Pruksa Iamthongthong, managers of the Asia Dragon Trust, pick three of their favourite Asian stocks to buy now.
23 Sep 2022

Most Popular

The best British tech stocks from a thriving sector
Share tips

The best British tech stocks from a thriving sector

Move over, Silicon Valley. Over the past two decades the UK has become one of the main global hubs for tech start-ups. Matthew Partridge explains why,…
29 Sep 2022
Share tips of the week – 30 September
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 30 September

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
30 Sep 2022
Why everyone is over-reacting to the mini-Budget
Budget

Why everyone is over-reacting to the mini-Budget

Most analyses of the chancellor’s mini-Budget speech have failed to grasp its purpose and significance, says Max King
29 Sep 2022