Fraud office confirms SSL probe

The SFO previously told it had received documentation about the overstatement from SSL and would be launching an official investigation if it was deemed necessary.

Today, the SFO confirmed it would now proceed with a full investigation.

‘The SFO have considered a referral in respect of SSL International Plc. The director [of the SFO] has decided to commence an investigation in conjunction with the Cheshire Constabulary,’ a spokesperson said.

At the agm last month, SSL told shareholders there appeared to have been a massive fraud over a long period involving collusion between several people, which made it difficult to detect.

All the directors who had led the company during the period under investigation have resigned and the role of the Andersen, the company’s auditors, is also being questioned.

The furore surrounding the producer of Durex condoms and Marigold gloves began in May after it was discovered SSL’s customers were holding £63m of excess stock. The stock error investigation uncovered further accounting errors, revealing an overstatement of sales, which is being investigated by KPMG Forensic Accounting and law firm DLA.

SSL admitted sales had been overstated by £22m and £19m were adjusted accordingly.


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