UK's anti-fraud agency probes Sanjeev Gupta-led GFG Alliance

·2-min read

London, May 14 (PTI) The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on Friday that it is investigating suspected fraudulent trading and money laundering related to companies within the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG), led by British-Indian businessman Sanjeev Gupta.

GFG Alliance includes the embattled Liberty Steel business that continues to find alternative financing after its main backer, Greensill Capital, collapsed in March.

The SFO said its investigation covers the company’s financial arrangements with Greensill Capital UK Ltd.

“The SFO is investigating suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering in relation to the financing and conduct of the business of companies within the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG), including its financing arrangements with Greensill Capital UK Ltd,” an SFO statement said.

“As this is a live investigation, the SFO can provide no further comment,” it said.

The Gupta-led business has been the subject of much speculation over the past few weeks as it was feared thousands of jobs in Britain’s steel industry were under threat as a result of Greensill’s collapse.

The finance company itself faces separate inquiries, including by the Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee which called in former British prime minister David Cameron on Thursday to give evidence related to his role as part-time adviser to the collapsed bank.

The panel of cross-party MPs is among three parliamentary committees that have launched inquiries into Greensill Capital following its collapse in March, including to probe the extent of Cameron’s lobbying of ministers in the lead up to its bankruptcy.

The London-based lender supplied billions of dollars in loans to GFG, many of which were packaged and sold as funds.

GFG Alliance said it would cooperate fully with the investigation and that it continues with its refinancing plans.

“GFG Alliance notes the UK Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) announcement that it has opened an investigation into GFG Alliance. GFG Alliance will cooperate fully with the investigation,” a GFG Alliance spokesperson said.

“As these matters are the subject of an SFO investigation we cannot make any further comment. GFG Alliance continues to serve its customers around the world and is making progress in the refinancing of its operations which are benefitting from the operational improvements it has made and the very strong steel, aluminium and iron ore markets,” the spokesperson said.

The company separately also faces a legal action from Tata Steel over alleged missed payments from an acquisition in the UK dating back to 2017. PTI AK PMS PMS

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