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Money laundering investigation opened

28 April 2014

The Director of the SFO has opened a criminal investigation into possible money laundering arising from suspicions of corruption in Ukraine. The SFO has obtained a restraint order freezing approximately $23m of assets in the UK in connection with this case.  For reasons of confidentiality we cannot say more at this time.

Notes for editors:

  1. The $23 million of assets has been placed under restraint using the Proceeds of Crime Act.
  2. The UK is hosting the Ukrainian Forum on Asset Recovery at Lancaster House on 29-30 April in conjunction with the US and Ukraine. In addition and separate to the $23 million in assets that have been placed under restraint by the SFO, an EU-wide asset freeze against 22 individuals suspected of misappropriating Ukrainian state assets has been approved and has come into force across the EU.
  3. The Serious Fraud Office is a government department responsible for investigating and prosecuting serious and complex fraud and corruption.  It is headed by the Director, David Green QC, who exercises powers under the superintendence of the Attorney General.  These powers are derived from the Criminal Justice Act 1987.
  4. The strict liability rule in the Contempt of Court Act 1981 applies.
  5. Please contact SFO Press Office on 020 7239 7000 / 7316 or 07823 361 663, press.office@sfo.gsi.gov.uk or visit www.sfo.gov.uk