UPDATED: UK’s De La Rue flags ‘implicated’ activities in India probe

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Jan 20 (Reuters) – Banknote printer De La Rue said on Friday it had learnt that activities by the group in India prior to 2016 have been implicated in a probe by a top Indian investigation agency.

The company’s shares fell as much as 8% to hit a six-month low.

The British group said it was aware from “publicly-available sources” that India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was probing the conduct of Arvind Mayaram, the former Indian finance secretary, but said it has not received any official direct communication from the agency.

De La Rue said in a statement the allegations relating to the group had no merit and it was seeking legal advice, but declined to comment further on the nature of the charges. The company confirmed it had supplied security threads for banknotes in India prior to 2016.

Reuters was unable to reach Mayaram by phone and WhatsApp, and the CBI did not immediately respond to a query.

The company also said it has suspended its note-printing operations in Kenya and it did not expect any new orders from the African country’s central bank for the next 12 months due to low market demand.

However its joint venture with the Kenyan government, through which its operations in the country are conducted, remain active, the company added.

“The company continues to explore further business opportunities, both in Kenya and for export from Kenya, with a view to restarting production if the economic climate permits,” De La Rue said.

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