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Ersin Tatar and the “Unimportant” Asil Nadir Money Transfer Documents”

Ersin Tatar’s Unimportant Asil Nadir Money Transfer Documents

UK newspapers are starting to pick up on the role of Ersin Tatar, TRNC Finance Minister, in the Polly Peck case, now that Asil Nadir has been found guilty of theft:

“Ersin Tatar, a fellow Turkish Cypriot who had been Polly Peck’s assistant treasurer, is now finance minister in northern Cyprus. He has never been charged with an offence but was named by the SFO during the trial among a list of Nadir’s main helpers.” [Guardian]

During the trial evidence was given by Det Insp Hawkins who told the court that as he arrived in the Polly Peck reception area:

“He was approached by Polly Peck International’s (PPI) company secretary and director Peter Compson who handed him an envelope containing pieces of torn paper.  He then saw Ersin Tatar, the assistant treasurer at PPI, in the security officer’s room and spoke to him about the pieces of paper.

The prosecution allege that Mr Tatar assisted Mr Nadir in the dishonest movement of money from PPI and enjoyed a close working relationship with the Polly Peck boss. Det Insp Hawkins told the court that when he asked why the paper had been torn up, Mr Tartar replied, “They are not important”.

He said he asked why he wanted to hide unimportant pieces of paper, Mr Tartar replied: “I did not want you to find it in my briefcase”.

Det Insp Hawkins told the court: “I said you tore this piece of paper into such small pieces it must be important. Tell me what the paper is.”

Mr Tatar replied: “It’s not important.”

Det Insp Hawkins said that he told Mr Tatar he had already been interviewed and was aware of the issues involved in the case.

“I said ‘you could be in serious trouble, tell me what it is’. He said ‘they are to do with the transfer of money for Mr Nadir to Northern Cyrpus’.”

Det Insp Hawkins told the court that when he asked Mr Tatar what it was in connection with, Mr Tatar told him it was to do with Bozkurt, which is understood to be a Turkish newspaper.

He told Mr Tatar he would have to speak about the matter to him at a later date.

Gareth Patterson, prosecuting, told the court that the torn pieces of paper were reassembled by police.

The papers showed the name and address of Ersin Tatar and details from Barclays bank statements and references to financial transfers to Impexbank in 1990, a Turkish bank purchased in 1988 by Asil Nadir.” [BBC Website]

Some of the people I spoke to here in the US were amazed that Ersin Tatar was still a member of a government and that for a Prime Minister to support him endangered the credibility of both that administration and TRNC’s standing in the eyes of a world always ready to criticise it. Well actually, I’m making that up. Most comments were, “TRNC… Cyprus?” Although one puzzled Texan did think I was talking about Cypress in his state. But that’s what they would have said if they knew where Cyprus actually was.

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