Red tape holds up EU fraud investigations

Financial crime investigations are being delayed because of outdated rules on
cross-border policing and a lack of co-operation between police in the European
Union, the outgoing head of the economic crime department of the City of London
police has said.

Speaking in the Financial Times on his last day in the force after
34 years, Ken Farrow said ‘an awful lot’ needed to be done to speed up fraud
investigations across the EU.

The detective chief superintendent said that legal hurdles were preventing
British police from pursuing cases to other countries, and hampering

‘If something happens in London this afternoon and the money arrives in
Frankfurt, we have to go to the Crown Prosecution Service with a letter of
request that gets passed to the Home Office and then to the German government,’
he said. ‘Maybe six months down the line we can go to Frankfurt and ask
questions. That is absolute lunacy.’

Farrow said the economic crime department found it easier to communicate with
the US, where UK requests were handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

He said the police have been pushing to improve ties with Europe but have
been hampered by political and legal disagreements among EU members.

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