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Acacia Mining is 'not aware' of UK fraud probe

Responding to a media report that it was being investigated by the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office over alleged bribery in Tanzania, Acacia Mining PLC said it is "not aware" of a probe but had been in touch with the authority.

"Acacia has been in contact with the SFO about the allegations of corrupt activities in Tanzania which are the subject of proceedings in Tanzania," the company said in a Dec. 14 release.

In a same-day report, The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources as saying there was an ongoing investigation, noting that it was unclear how far along the Serious Fraud Office investigation was.

Citing anonymous sources, the paper also reported that a couple of years ago, the Serious Fraud Office sought information from a whistleblower with information about alleged payments made to officials. Subsequently, Acacia reportedly gave documents to the Serious Fraud Office.

Acacia, majority owned by Barrick Gold Corp., has faced a slew of issues in Tanzania.

The government has said it under-reported gold content in exports and demanded US$190 billion in unpaid taxes. Tanzanian authorities have also arrested certain Acacia employees and charged Acacia units under anti-money-laundering law.