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Serious Fraud Office makes zero raids in a year

30th May 2012

A firm which holds a number of the top London legal jobs has revealed that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) did not raid any properties during the financial year of 2011-12.

The findings, which were made by examining search warrant applications following a freedom of information (FOI) request, highlighted the sharp decline of raids in recent years; 63 took place in 2008-09, 43 during 2009-10, and 47 in 2010-11.

One commonly held theory is that the SFO has been holding back from carrying out dawn raids as a consequence of a controversial one made in March last year on Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz - two property tycoons allegedly involved in the collapse of Icelandic bank Kaupthing. A judicial review has since been launched after the men claimed the SFO was acting illegally.

Concerns have been raised following these findings because there is not thought to have been any significant reduction in the occurrence of large-scale fraud in the UK; the firm that undertook the research cited the example of raids it made earlier this month on five properties, which led to three arrests.