UK’s anti-fraud unit admits losing papers about BAE

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth            Picture: PA

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THE UK’s anti-fraud unit has come under fire after it admitted losing tens of thousands of documents from an investigation into BAE Systems.

The Serious Fraud Office accidentally sent 32,000 pages, 81 audio tapes and electronic media about the defence giant – which employs around 3,000 people in Portsmouth in shipbuilding and ship repair divisions – to the wrong owner. Nearly all of the material has been recovered, none of it relating to national security. The investigation began following allegations about a defence contract with Saudi Arabia and other countries.