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Report: Eurasian Resources sues UK fraud regulator anew

Eurasian Resources Group S.à r.l. unit Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. PLC once again sued the U.K. Serious Fraud Office in an attempt to force the watchdog to revive an independent inquiry into its handling of a corruption probe into Eurasian Natural Resources, London's Financial Times reported Aug. 13, citing documents filed in the High Court this month.

Eurasian Natural Resources, or ENRC, is also seeking protection from criminal charges until the conclusion of the Serious Fraud Office's, or SFO's, own probe or a civil claim filed by the miner, the report said.

The SFO has been investigating ENRC since 2013 over alleged corruption related to its dealings in Kazakhstan and Africa but has yet to file criminal charges against the miner.

ENRC is accusing the SFO of colluding with the company's former lawyers, who allegedly passed on confidential material. That prompted the SFO to launch an independent probe into its own conduct in November 2018, which it halted in June after ENRC filed a lawsuit in March seeking US$93 million in claims from SFO over costs incurred during the corruption probe and for misfeasance in a public office.

According to the report, the SFO felt that the independent probe was no longer needed as it would cover similar ground to the civil case.