The U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced that a warrant for the arrest of the CEO of Luxembourg-based Eurasian Resources Group has been issued over his failure to appear for questioning in an ongoing corruption investigation into Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) and related companies.

Benedikt Sobotka failed to appear for questioning in London on June 26. He is wanted by the SFO for failing to comply with a direction, contrary to the Criminal Justice Act 1987. An arrest warrant is a rare but a necessary step to ensure that Sobotka is brought before the court, the SFO said. 

Under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987, the SFO Director is empowered to compel individuals to appear for interview by SFO staff. Failing to comply with a notice served by the SFO and appear for interview to answer questions without reasonable excuse carries a possible prison sentence of up to six months and an unlimited fine.

The SFO investigation into ENRC, announced in April 2013, is ongoing and focused on allegations of serious fraud, bribery, and corruption in relation to the acquisition of substantial mineral assets. Sobotka is not a suspect in the corruption investigation, the SFO said.