Cyprus Today’s owner wanted for fraud in UK

This is a very old story re-emerging because Asil Nadir, owner Cyprus Today publisher, Kıbrıs Media Group, wants to return to the UK and face trial.  Back in 1993, after his Polly Peck company collapsed in 1990, he was wanted by the Serious Fraud Office for 66 charges of fraud and theft. He fled to the TRNC where allegedly two years before his company collapsed he had transferred £200m.

The reason this story is back in the news is because Asil Nadir has enquired whether, if he returned to the UK to face trial, he would be allowed bail. Whether this is because the Tories are now in power and the once Tory Party donor believes they would look more kindly on him, or whether, as the Daily Express believes, Turkey’s EU bid means they might allow a fast-track European Arrest Warrant to be applied to him, is anybody’s guess. Mind you the Daily Express has many old fashioned ideas including the idea that the TRNC is “a favourite haunt for British criminals,” whereas the truth is that, because of co-operation between the UK and the TRNC, most of them are currently spending time in the UK at her majesty’s pleasure.

One interesting fact was that Asil Nadir’s newspapers supported the opposition UBP party in the run up to the April 2009 elections and, coincidently, on 12th March 2009 they received a tax bill for 11 million TL which they had 24 hours to pay or else face the sequestration of their assets. A very popular tactic in that geopolitical area at that time. They published as usual, the UBP came to power and nothing more has been said about this tax bill.

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