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SFO issues arrest warrant for mining CEO

The UK Serious Fraud Office said Friday it issued an arrest warrant for the CEO of Eurasian Resources Group after he failed to appear in court during an ongoing corruption investigation.

Benedikt Sobotka, 37, was supposed to appear for questioning in London on June 26, the SFO said Friday.

Sobotka is the CEO of Luxembourg-based Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) S.à.r.l.

He’s wanted by the SFO for failing to comply with a direction by the agency, a violation of the Criminal Justice Act 1987.

“An arrest warrant is a rare but necessary step to ensure that Mr. Sobotka is brought before the court,” the SFO said.

Sobotka could face up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine for failing to comply with SFO orders.

The SFO said Sobotka is not a suspect in the corruption investigation.

ERG is the parent company of ENRC Ltd. London-headquartered ENRC plc was listed on the London Stock Exchange until December 2013.

When ENRC plc was delisted, its operations were transferred to ERG. ENRC Ltd is a UK registered company, according to the SFO.

“The SFO’s investigation into ENRC is ongoing and focused on allegations of serious fraud, bribery and corruption in relation to the acquisition of substantial mineral assets,” Friday’s statement said.

The SFO first announced its investigation into ENRC and related companies in April 2013.

Sobotka is represented by Morrison Foerster, the SFO said.

Last week Swiss-Anglo mining company Glencore plc said it received a DOJ subpoena targeting FCPA compliance.

The subpoena requested documents about Glencore’s business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Venezuela from 2007 to the present.

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Harry Cassin is the managing editor of the FCPA Blog.

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