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Group.png SFO   WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Parent organizationUK, UK/Home Office
Headquarters2-4 Cockspur Street, London, SW1Y 5BS

The UK Serious Fraud Office.


The SFO was created by the Criminal Justice Act 1987, passed after the 1986 Roskill Report (created in response to "public outrage" about the rate of white collar fraud in the 1980s) recommended creation of a standalone body to tackle high level fraud.[1]


The SFO has "assume[d] the role of “chief enforcer” of the Bribery Act 2010".[1]

Al-Yamamah arms deal investigation

In 2004, the Serious Fraud Office began an investigation into the Al-Yamamah arms deal. This was discontinued in 2006 after Tony Blair intervened, claiming that relations with Saudi Arabia were being harmed.[2]

Sue Hawley was involved in the judicial review of the SFO after it dropped allegations of corruption involving BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia.[3]

"Lost the tapes"

Reminiscent of the BBC's cry about why it couldn't give more details on its premature announcement of the destruction of WTC7, the SFO has stated that some time between May and October 2012 it "lost" 32,000 pages of documents and 81 audio tapes linked to a bribery probe into BAE's al-Yamamah deal with Saudi Arabia.[2]

Trial of Asil Nadir

Shortly after the 2012 trial of Asil Nadir, Sean O'Neill of The Times revealed that the Serious Fraud Office had lost several crates of evidence relating to the Nadir case.[4]

Libor manipulation case

"The SFO arrested and prosecuted 13 individuals in connection with the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) manipulation scheme. Ultimately, it only secured four convictions and one guilty plea... The English Court of Appeal characterized this “an embarrassing debacle” for the SFO."[1]

2011 Tchenguiz brothers' case

In March 2011, the SFO arrested of Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz, real estate developers, on the charge that they fraudulently obtaining a £180 million loan from Icelandic bank Kaupthing just prior to its collapse in 2008, a case that hit trouble after "factual errors"[5] in the search warrants. Eventually the case was dropped, leading to a counter prosecution for trespass, false imprisonment, malfeasance in public office, and malicious prosecution.[1]

Proposed closure

In May 2017, the UK Conservative Party's manifesto contained a proposal from 2011 and 2014 to incorporate the SFO in the "NCA]. </br></br>==='"`UNIQ--h-8--QINU`"'Expansion===</br>However, not only was this not carried out, but " in an about-turn by the government, the SFO has recently been empowered, financially speaking, to redouble efforts to tackle white collar fraud and corruption head on".'"`UNIQ--ref-00000009-QINU`"' SFO funding was significantly increased.</br>[[Has fullPageName" contains a listed "[" character as part of the property label and has therefore been classified as invalid.  

Employees on Wikispooks

Mark ThompsonSFO/Head of Proceeds of Crime Division20122016
Mark ThompsonSFO/CFOMay 2015


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:The HSBC CabalArticle11 October 2018Nicholas WilsonHSBC paid Lisa Osofsky’s firm $200m a year to monitor the Deferred Prosecution Agreement in the US
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