JJB Sports investigation takes flight to Reykjavik

THE Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has jetted to Iceland to investigate what is believed to be crucial evidence into&nbsp; an alleged fraud perpetrated by sportswear retailers JJB Sports and Sports Direct.<br /><br />The Icelandic visit is said to be of mutual interest to the SFO and the Icelandic government, which is trying to unearth financial crimes which contributed to the country&rsquo;s economic collapse. The meeting between SFO director Richard Alderman, Icelandic investigator Olafur Hauksson and French special investigator Eva Joly was said to have culminated in an agreement which will allow the exchange of information and will be the first of many meetings.<br /><br />Last Thursday JJB Sports confirmed it had blown the whistle on its bitter rival to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for alleged price rigging and fraud. The OFT made a dramatic raid on the offices of Ashley&rsquo;s Sports Direct, but visited JJB Sports at an arranged appointment. Both Ashley and former JJB chief executive Chris Ronnie banked with collapsed Icelandic Kaupthing bank. Ronnie used his 27.5 per cent JJB stake as collateral for a Kaupthing loan. The loan was later seized by the bank, but Ronnie failed to declare this to JJB&rsquo;s boar &ndash; culminating in his dismissal.