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

Broker safety – your questions answered
Investment strategy

Broker safety – your questions answered

Cris Sholto Heaton answers more of your questions about the safety of stockbroker accounts
25 Mar 2020
How demographics affects stock valuations
Investment strategy

How demographics affects stock valuations

New research suggests that stock and bond valuations are driven by the age of the population – at least in the US.
24 Feb 2020
Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now
Stocks and shares

Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now

Mining giant Anglo American has proposed a cash takeover of Yorkshire-based minnow Sirius Minerals. Unhappy shareholders must decide whether to accept…
20 Feb 2020
Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020
Stockmarkets

Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020

Analysts have been out in force making rosy predictions for stockmarkets in 2020, but while there is certainly a case for optimism, investors should r…
17 Jan 2020

Most Popular

Here’s why you really should own at least some bitcoin
Bitcoin

Here’s why you really should own at least some bitcoin

While bitcoin is having a quiet year – at least in relative terms – its potential to become the default cash system for the internet is undiminished, …
16 Sep 2020
Central banks want politicians to take charge – but what will they do?
US Economy

Central banks want politicians to take charge – but what will they do?

The US Federal Reserve has come to the end of the road in terms of what it can do to accelerate any recovery, says John Stepek. It's over to the polit…
17 Sep 2020
IAG's share price is ready for take-off - here's how to play it
Trading

IAG's share price is ready for take-off - here's how to play it

The owner of British Airways has had a turbulent year, but is now worth a punt. Matthew Partridge explains the best way to play it.
8 Sep 2020