17 Jun 2020
The U.K.’s economic-crimes watchdog has ended its probe into bank note producer De La Rue PLC, saying Tuesday that the evidence in the case doesn’t meet the threshold for prosecution.
The Serious Fraud Office said in July 2019 that it had opened an investigation into De La Rue and related entities or individuals in connection with alleged corruption in South Sudan.
De La Rue, which makes bank notes for governments around the world and produces identity documents such as passports, said it was cooperating with the SFO’s investigation, according to the company’s half-year results in November.
After an extensive investigation and a thorough review of the available evidence, the SFO said the case didn’t meet the agency’s test required for bringing charges. Under the agency’s rules, the evidence must be sufficient to secure “a realistic prospect of conviction” against each defendant and the prosecution must be in the public interest.
The SFO didn’t specify which aspect of the test its investigation failed to meet.
“De La Rue is pleased that the SFO has closed its investigation and that the SFO is taking no further action in respect of this matter,” the Basingstoke, England-based company said in a statement. A company spokesman declined to comment further.
It is the latest case to be dropped by the SFO for failure to clear the bar for prosecution. The agency last month said it had closed a bribery probe into engineering company ABB Ltd. ’s past dealings with oil-services provider Unaoil Group.
By Mengqi Sun, The Wall Street Journal, 16 June 2020
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