Britain may abolish Serious Fraud Office - paper

LONDON, April 8 Thu Apr 7, 2011 10:14pm EDT

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LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) - Britain is pushing ahead with plans to abolish the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) despite fears that the move would undermine confidence in London's financial markets, Britain's Times newspaper said on Friday.

Citing a document it said it had seen, the Times said the government is planning to hand responsibility for prosecuting complex frauds to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The CPS is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in Britain.

"In the new landscape, the CPS will lead on the prosecution of economic offences at all levels," the newspaper quoted the document as saying.

"From low level offending identified by police officers, to the top end of sensitive international corruption cases," it added.

The Home Office was not immediately reachable for comment.

(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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