UK: Overseas requests for SFO help in fraud cases increase

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March 2, 2016

Requests to the UK from overseas for help in fighting financial crime rose 62 per cent last year, highlighting the advance of cybercrime and the vulnerability of London-based banks to money-laundering attempts.

The Serious Fraud Office , which investigates cross-border fraud, mostly bribery and corruption, received 55 requests for “mutual legal assistance” last year. That compared with 34 in 2014, 25 in 2013 and 23 in 2012, according to Thomson Reuters Legal, which collected the data through a Freedom of Information request.

The increase in the number of overseas requests to the SFO suggests that, despite the tapering off of the largest global investigations into benchmark manipulation, the number of cases is not declining. Prosecutors worldwide are in fact increasing cross-border fraud probes in cases that have probably not become public yet at an unprecedented level.