Britain?s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) says it is continuing to liaise with overseas investigators, as Olympus scandal whistleblower Michael Woodford predicts ?further revelations?.


Woodford (pictured), who was sensationally sacked after exposing a multi-million-dollar accounting racket, reported Olympus to the SFO last year.

Asked whether any further discussions have taken place with Woodford since, a spokesperson for the SFO told Amateur Photographer (AP) that it is ?liaising with other organisations and international colleagues?.

Last month Woodford gave up his campaign to return as Olympus CEO, citing the toll that the £1.1 billion cover-up had taken on his family, and the lack of support from large Japanese investors.

Meanwhile, Woodford yesterday issued a statement in which he forecast more revelations to come at the camera maker.

In an email to AP, Woodford confirmed that he plans to attend an Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting in Japan on 20 April.

He urged Olympus to hire a ?suitably large venue to allow all shareholders, small, large, domestic and from overseas, to have a forum in which to speak out openly as they feel fit?.

Woodford added: ?This will be the first formal opportunity for all the company?s shareholders to question and hold its management to account.

?Of course, investigations into the scandal are ongoing on three continents and, therefore, we are still not in a position to know the full extent of what took place, but before April?s EGM, I believe it is highly likely there will be further revelations and all interested parties should continue to scrutinise events.?

In an interview with AP last year Woodford said he believed the Olympus financial scandal goes much deeper than anyone anticipates.

‘It’s probably the biggest financial story of the 21st century, but it’s [about] where it goes… It’s not just about the company it’s about Japan,’ said Woodford in the hour-long interview.

‘A lot of people’s lives are affected. The actions of a small group of people have taken a corporation to this point.’

Since the controversy blew-up there has been intense speculation that Olympus will sell off its camera business – retaining the much larger, more profitable, medical equipment arm.

In recent weeks, reports of an upcoming strategic alliance have intensified – a move Woodford has said in the past he would oppose.

Fujifilm is among the brands reported to have made a formal proposal, but Olympus has repeatedly refused to either confirm or deny such suggestions.

Olympus Japan spokesperson Ayako Nagami told AP: ?Nothing has been decided yet and Olympus is still seeking for the best way to rebuild its financial status.?

Olympus today declined to comment on Woodford?s expectation of ?further revelations?.

Nagami added: ?We cannot comment on that since we do not know the details?.

The scandal forced the resignation of chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa – quickly followed by the dismissal of vice-president Hisashi Mori after Japanese investigators discovered Olympus had disguised losses on its investment activities with funds from other sources, since the 1990s.

In his statement yesterday, Woodford said he has ?strong opinions? on ‘whether the current directors plan to put themselves forward again on a new slate and also the names and backgrounds of new candidates?.

In December, Japanese prosecutors raided Olympus?s Tokyo HQ as part of ongoing probes, which also involve the FBI in the United States.

[Picture: C Cheesman]



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