Juba, July 26, 2019 (SSNA) — The United Kingdom has opened an investigation into De La Rue activities in South Sudan, saying the company which is known worldwide as one of the best banknotes producers is suspected of widespread corruption in the war-ravaged young nation.
In a press statement seen by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), a branch of the UK criminal justice system, says it has officially launched a probe into the activities of the De La Rue in South Sudan and urges anyone with information to contact them through a secure link it provides on its website.
“The SFO confirms it has opened an investigation into the activities of the De La Rue group and its associated persons in relation to suspected corruption in South Sudan,” SFO said.
Two reliable sources who are familiar with the investigation confirmed the report, saying South Sudan’s government secretly ordered the company to produce new banknotes and that officials in the government frequently diverted the funds to their bank accounts instead of injecting the money into the economic system. The same sources who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the case also disclosed that these officials always directed De La Rue to deposit the money into their accounts mostly in Uganda and Kenya. The sources further revealed that the government of South Sudan usually pays De La Rue a percentage (in millions of dollars) of the new banknotes to help cover-up the fraud.
The embattled UK premier banknote printer was contracted by South Sudan in 2011 to produce its currency.
The Serious Fraud Office is a prosecuting authority tackling serious fraud, corruption, and bribery practices.