| NEW YORK, April 27
NEW YORK, April 27 Criminal prosecutors from the
U.S. Department of Justice have gone to London to interview
individuals in connection with an investigation into traders'
alleged rigging of foreign exchange rates, in the DOJ's first
major move since it announced the investigation in October, the
Financial Times reported on Sunday.
An initial set of interviews took place early in the year,
and more are planned, the FT reported, citing three people
familiar with the department's tactics.
The DOJ invited several UK-based currency traders who are
"on the periphery" of the investigation to voluntarily be
interviewed in London rather than travel to the U.S. for
questioning, the FT reported.
The London interviews highlight the legal complexities of
undertaking a coordinated investigation in multiple
jurisdictions, according to the FT.
While the United Kingdom's financial regulator, the
Financial Conduct Authority, said the interviews would be under
"compelled conditions," meaning the FCA can compel people to
answer its questions and not remain silent, the U.S.
Constitution allows individuals to remain silent under oath in
order to avoid self-incrimination.
Any evidenced gathered under compelled conditions could be
difficult for U.S. authorities to use, the FT reported. UK
criminal authorities cannot use compelled information directly
either, the FT reported.
After extracting billions in fines from global banks for
rigging Libor, the average rate at which a panel of banks
expects to borrow money, authorities have turned to other
benchmarks, including those that undergird the $5.3
trillion-a-day currency market, to investigate whether they are
open to similar kinds of skewing.
Banks including Barclays, UBS AG,, Royal
Bank of Scotland, and now Rabobank have paid
out billions in fines, and have agreed to turn over all
information that the Justice Department asks of them for at
least two years as part of their settlements, Mythili Raman, the
acting head of the department's criminal division, said in
October after the forex probe was announced.
A spokesperson for the DOJ was unavailable for comment on
(Reporting by Anna Louie Sussman; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)