The U.K. Serious Fraud Office will work more closely with spy agencies in an effort to crack down on corporate wrongdoing.
“We are enhancing our intelligence capabilities in the fight against economic crime,” the SFO said in an e-mailed statement. “This includes re-forging links with the national security agencies and building our own analytical capacity.”
The SFO will increase links with U.K. security agencies in a bid to put more pressure on companies to self-report activities such as bribery, David Green, director of the white- collar crime prosecutor, told the Times of London in an interview published today.
The largest U.K. spy agencies include MI5, the domestic security service, MI6, the overseas intelligence agency and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ.
Global spy agencies have come under scrutiny in recent months after former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed the scale of surveillance activities by the U.S. National Security Agency, including allegations the NSA had tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.
The revelations have led to scrutiny of U.K. spy operations, with a number of agency directors from MI5, MI6 and GCHQ brought before lawmakers in Parliament in London last week to discuss their activities.
Liberty, a London-based human rights group, said in a statement today that it will represent similar civil liberties groups in a lawsuit against U.K. spy agencies, including MI6 and GCHQ, over allegations private communications were intercepted on fiber-optic cables.
Green has outlined his intention for the SFO to be more aggressive on corporate malfeasance in a number of speeches over recent months.
Companies need to “understand the risk that we will learn of wrongdoing should they consider burying criminal misconduct rather than self-reporting”, he said at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime in September.
–Editor: Anthony Aarons