Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty Steel offices visited in Serious Fraud Office investigation

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has contacted the offices of Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty Steel.

It comes almost a year after the SFO launched an investigation into suspected fraud and money laundering by parent firm GFG Alliance, which has thousands of staff in the UK.

The SFO has confirmed teams from the organisation visited company offices on Wednesday morning to request documents including company balance sheets, annual reports and correspondence related to the investigation.

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It is understood a number of sites were visited across Scotland, England and Wales.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with Sanjeev Gupta, the head of the Liberty Group, ahead of a ceremony where Tata Steel handed over the keys of two Lanarkshire steel plants to metals firm Liberty House, at Dalzell steelworks in Scotland. Picture: PA

A spokeswoman for the SFO said: “Investigators spoke with executives at multiple addresses, who co-operated with the operation.

“As the investigation is ongoing, the SFO can provide no further comment.”

Mr Gupta was once lauded as the “saviour of steel” for rescuing factories, but has come under heavy scrutiny amid accusations of potentially fraudulent trading after his main lender, Greensill Capital, collapsed a year ago.

GFG used so-called supply chain finance services offered by Greensill. This meant that if GFG sold a product to a different company, it could send the invoice to Greensill and be paid right away, rather than having to wait potentially months for the customer to pay its bills.

Bringing in money this way can be useful for companies with tight cash flows.

However, how Greensill and GFG did business together is being investigated by the fraud investigators.

It comes after French police visited the Paris offices of GFG Alliance on Wednesday in its own probe of the tycoon’s business empire.

GFG Alliance has been contacted for comment.

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