UK fraud investigators yesterday served notices at multiple addresses linked to mining magnate Sanjeev Gupta, just a day after French police raided Paris offices linked to the embattled steel tycoon.
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) yesterday issued Section 2 notices to trading addresses linked to the Gupta’s Liberty House Group of companies, requesting financial documents, including company balance sheets and annual reports.
The raids comes after the SFO launched an investigation into Gupta’s business empire in May of last year, on suspicions of fraud, fraudulent trading, and money laundering.
The investigation into Gupta’s business empire come after eight of the tycoon’s companies borrowed £400m from London supply chain financing firm Greensill Capital, before it filed for insolvency in March 2021.
Although once celebrated by politicians as the “Saviour of Steel,” Gupta and has Liberty business empire has come under mounting scrutiny in recent years, over “opaque” business practices.
Last year, Conservative MP Richard Fuller claimed Gupta’s business empire has the “characteristics of a potential ponzi scheme,” as business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said there were “very serious questions about the business model.”
The SFO notices comes just a day after French authorities raided the Paris offices of Gupta’s GFG Alliance along with a metalworks formerly owned by the Anglo-Indian businessman, as part of an investigation into “misuse of corporate assets” and “money laundering”.
The probe comes after an inquiry found former prime minister David Cameron had not acted unlawfully by lobbying Chancellor Rishi Sunak to ensure Grensill would be able access the government’s Covid financial support.