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Devonport probe ends next year

NEWS

THE OUTCOME of a Ministry of Defence police investigation into allegations of fraud on the £933 million Devonport Royal Dockyard in Plymouth will not be known until early next year.

Police launched a multi-million pound fraud investigation in August 2002 following allegations of double booking of labour on the job.

An MoD spokesman said: 'The Ministry of Defence Police Fraud Squad is pursuing its investigation into allegations of financial irregularities by subcontractors on the nuclear submarine refitting facility.

'A number of people have been interviewed by detectives but allegations involving financials are often complex and the investigation is expected to continue for some months.'

Devonport Management Limited was in charge of building the facilities for the refitting and refuelling of the Royal Navy's submarines, including the four Vanguard class submarines which provide the UK's nuclear deterrent via the Trident missile system.DML is half-owned by US firm Halliburton KBR.Balfour Beatty and Weir share the remaining stake.

In December 2002 a National Audit Office investigation blamed the MoD and DML for a 44 per cent hike in costs to £933 million.