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Serious Fraud Office to combat corruption overseas

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) will divert more of its resources to combat corruption overseas, its director announced yesterday.

SFO director Richard Alderman announced that it would be reallocating more resources to combat overseas corruption.

Speaking at an Anti-Corruption and Bribery conference in London, Alderman told delegates that the SFO would be increasing the number of investigators it has on anti-corruption work from 65 to around 100 – an increase of more than 50%.

The SFO's new Head of Anti-Corruption, Keith McCarthy, will lead.

Alderman said it was vitally important for companies and organisations to approach the SFO as soon as they encounter corruption or bribery, and should reveal what they have uncovered and what range of measures they have put in place, such as in training, restitution or monitoring, to address the situation.

Self-reporting would be considered, said Alderman, in cases where the SFO investigates cases where bribery or corruption has been shown to have taken place.

"It is very much in a company's interests to self report rather than wait for the SFO to approach them," he said.

He went on to describe the many sources of information - including government departments, foreign governments and agencies and the media - available to the SFO and how they used them.

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