SFO failed to prosecute corruption in ENRC and Rio Tinto

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has ended a 10-year criminal investigation into Kazakhstan mining company ENRC and another into Australian-British mining company Rio Tinto.

ENRC, a former FTSE 100 company, had been under investigation since 2013 for allegedly paying bribes to obtain mining contracts in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 2009 and 2012.

On Thursday, the SFO updated a page on its website regarding the ENRC investigation, stating that the investigation had ended.

‘In August 2023, following an updated review of the investigation, we concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute and closed the investigation.

An SFO spokesperson declined to comment on the case; an ENRC spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also on Thursday, the SFO announced that it had ended its investigation into Rio Tinto’s alleged corruption in the Republic of Guinea.

According to the SFO’s website, the agency ‘has decided that it is not in the public interest to continue prosecution in the UK and has terminated the investigation’.

“The Australian Federal Police are continuing their investigation into this matter and we will continue to support their ongoing prosecution.”

Rio Tinto did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The decision to suspend the two investigations came shortly before former Assistant Scotland Yard Commissioner Nick Ephgrave took over from current SFO Commissioner Lisa Osofsky in September.

About the author: Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson is a seasoned cybersecurity analyst with over a decade of experience in deciphering digital threats and vulnerabilities.

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