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Alderman calls for reprieved SFO to be handed forceful new powers

Jun 10 2011 Martin Coyle, Compliance Complete

Richard Alderman, director of the Serious Fraud Office, has called for the white-collar crime fighting agency to be armed with new expansive legislative powers similar to those employed by its US counterpart. His remarks, made at a legal forum in London, followed the government's decision to offer the embattled SFO a lifeline after months of speculation about its future. Alderman told delegates at the jointly-organised International Business Leaders Forum and US-Russia Business Council event that the US' Department of Justice had the necessary legislative tools to tackle corporate crime, referring in particular to the use of wire taps and "stings" to catch criminals. He said that he was struck by the difference between the UK and US law, saying that the UK was a number of years behind. He added that he would like to see the UK becoming more "aggressive" about getting real time information in investigations, a reference to the use of covert surveillance in the US. Deferred prosecution

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