SFO ends corruption probe into banknote printer De La Rue
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has ended its 11-month investigation into banknote printer De La Rue, concluding it didn’t meet the sufficient threshold for prosecutors.
Fraud investigators opened a probe into De La Rue last July over suspected corruption in South Sudan.
In a statement the SFO said: “Following extensive investigation and a thorough and detailed review of the available evidence, the SFO has concluded that this case did not meet the relevant test for prosecution as defined in the Code for Crown Prosecutions.”
De La Rue has been investigated three times in the past 13 years. A decade ago it admitted it had falsified some documents, and three years prior another probe was launched.
In a statement on its website, the firm said it was “pleased” that the investigation had closed and that the fraud office was taking no further action.
It ends a year of uncertainty for De La Rue, whose shares sank to a two decade-low last year in the wake of two profit warnings and the SFO investigation. Troubles started after its lost fight to deliver a £490m contract to print Britain’s blue passports to rival Gemalto.
Debt rocketed from £107.5m in 2018 to £170.7m in November 2019, when it failed to pay a dividend as it dropped to a £9m loss.
In February, the firm revealed it planned to cut £35m in annual costs after it lost the passport contract.
Shares in the note printer surged 10.14 per cent today.
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