Smelter owners face fraud investigation

Alvance Lochaber Smelter. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.

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The company which owns Fort William’s Alvance Aluminium smelter, is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

GFG Alliance, which is headed by entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta, said it will co-operate fully with the investigation.

A GFG Alliance spokesperson said: ‘GFG Alliance notes the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO)‘s announcement that it has opened an investigation into GFG Alliance and its dealings with Greensill.

‘GFG Alliance will co-operate fully with the investigation. As these matters are the subject of an SFO investigation we cannot make any further comment.

‘GFG Alliance continues to serve its customers around the world and is making good progress in the refinancing of its operations which are benefitting from the operational improvements it has made and the very strong steel, aluminium and iron ore markets.’

The SFO said the probe was focusing on suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering in relation to the financing and conduct of the business of companies within the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG), including its financing arrangements with Greensill Capital UK Ltd.

‘As this is a live investigation, the SFO can provide no further comment,’ they added.

GFG, which also owns Liberty Steel, acquired the Fort William smelter, associated hyrdo power plants and the surrounding estate in 2016. Around 200 people work at the Lochaber aluminium plant, which is the last of its kind in the UK.