A new U.K. unit will investigate cases of international corruption affecting developing countries.

The International Corruption Unit will merge existing investigation and intelligence units spread across several agencies, including the National Crime Agency, as well as Metropolitan and City of London police. It will be operated by the National Crime Agency, with funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), and it will be the central point for investigating international corruption in the U.K. DFID will provide £21 million to the ICU for 5 years to 2020.

The Agency will investigate bribery of foreign public officials by individuals or companies from the U.K., and money laundering by corrupt foreign officials. It will also trace and recover proceeds of international graft, support foreign law-enforcement agencies on global anti-corruption probes and work with companies to support increased compliance with the U.K. Bribery Act.

The status of the Serious Fraud Office, which is the chief U.K. enforcement agency on anti-bribery matters, remains in doubt despite winning the conviction of trader Tom Hayes for rigging the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, and a string of ongoing corporate investigations.

The UK International Corruption Unit is similar in its objectives, remit and design to the FBI’s “International Corruption Squads” established in the US earlier this year (see prior post here)