12 Apr 2012

SFO rejects AFFCO complaint

9:51 pm on 12 April 2012

The Serious Fraud Office says a complaint made regarding the financial affairs of the New Zealand Meat Workers Union was possibly a little hasty.

The agency said on Thursday it would not be investigating the complaint lodged by meat processing company AFFCO, which is in dispute with hundreds of its workers.

The SFO said millions of dollars AFFCO says were unaccounted for are being held in other accounts belonging to the union's branches.

SFO chief executive Adam Feeley said that an immediate evaluation of information provided to its investigators did not show any evidence of fraud.

"There isn't a lot to consider and there appears to be a perfectly reasonable explanation for the issue that's been complained of.

"We are not saying that everything is in order, but what we are saying is that there's certainly no evidence of serious or complex fraud."

Adam Feeley said in this case, the SFO was not the right authority to make a complaint to.

However, AFFCO says it still wants answers about the financial affairs of the Meat Workers Union. It says the issue remains that the union is not in compliance with its statutory reporting requirements.

But union spokesperson Simon Ossterman says it has already been proven that it has nothing to hide, and AFFCO is just clutching at straws.