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Five Star probe proof SFO should not be disbanded

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

26 May 2008

Five Star probe proof SFO should not be disbanded

The announcement that the Serious Fraud Office is to investigate the failure of Five Star Consumer Finance is further proof of the folly of disbanding the SFO, says National’s Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

Five Star is the third finance company failure to be investigated by the SFO, which is already investigating Bridgecorp and Blue Chip.

“This is precisely the wrong time to be losing the SFO’s special focus on white-collar crime – when hundreds of millions of dollars of investors’ money has been lost.

“Replacing it on July 1 with an organisation that has fewer powers and a mixed focus for its activities is not a smart move.

“I can’t help feel that fraud could be sidelined if a specialised organisation is not retained.

“That’s why National voted against the first reading of a bill designed to abolish the SFO.

“We support all measures that deal with gangs and organised crime, but we’re extremely concerned about losing the SFO.”

ENDS

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