The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on Monday it would launch a review after its head was rebuked by a London judge for being vulnerable to flattery from a freelance agent during a high-profile bribery investigation into oil consultancy Unaoil.
Judge Martin Beddoe said SFO head Lisa Osofsky and senior colleagues had “taken the bait” when an American agent acting for the prominent Ahsani family, which ran Unaoil, had promised to secure guilty pleas in the British investigation into other Unaoil managers.
The SFO should have had “nothing to do” with David Tinsley, who was not the lawyer of a defendant, or employed by a U.S. government agency, but was a “freelance agent who was patently acting only in the interests of the Ahsanis”, he said.
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