Citibank sued over Polly Peck millions

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THE ADMINISTRATORS of Asil Nadir's crashed business empire, Polly Peck International, are suing Citibank for pounds 75m that they contend was 'misappropriated' by the tycoon.

Chris Morris, of Touche Ross, the administrator charged with bringing the legal proceedings, plans to launch writs against other parties in his pursuit of a total of pounds 371m he alleges Mr Nadir misappropriated.

Polly Peck, the fresh fruit to electronics empire, went into administration in 1990 with debts of pounds 1.3bn.

Civil and criminal proceedings are already under way against Mr Nadir, Polly Peck's former chairman and chief executive, including charges of theft involving pounds 130m. Yesterday Touche Ross issued proceedings in the High Court against Citibank, Citibank (Switzerland) and Confidas Finance et Placement, which provides fiduciary and trust services for Citicorp customers.

Citibank said yesterday: 'We believe the administrators' proposed action is absolutely without foundation and it will be vigorously defended.' No date for a court hearing has been set.

The administrators, on behalf of Polly Peck, assert that Mr Nadir misappropriated about pounds 75m from the company and transferred it via Citibank in London to accounts held with Citibank (Switzerland) in Zurich, where he used it for personal purposes.

Mr Morris claims that a substantial sum was paid out through offshore companies managed for Mr Nadir by Confidas Finance et Placement.

In October 1991 the administrators served writs seeking to recover more than pounds 1bn, including pounds 378m from Mr Nadir and pounds 73m from his mother, as well as pounds 440m in funds transferred from Polly Peck in London to Unipac, its Cypriot fruit packaging company.