Littlewoods faces writ after bribery case fails

Littlewoods is to be sued by one of its British consultants after the pools and retail group passed details of his alleged activities to police in Singapore, which led to his arrest.

Nicholas Leese, 40, was charged in 1996 by Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau with taking bribes but was exonerated when a judge threw out his case last month.

The charges led to Mr Leese losing his passport and being held by police on 210 counts of corruption. He was only released when friends stumped up bail of 500,000 Singapore dollars (pounds 210,000).

Mr Leese said he would issue a writ for defamation through his lawyers in Singapore. "My reputation was dragged through the mud. I was taken by the police at 7.30 in the morning from a friend's flat. I was on the nightly news. I was handcuffed and led away. It is hardly a recommendation in the Far East.

"The whole affair has made it very difficult to continue trading in Singapore and I believe I have lost substantial earnings as a result," said Mr Leese.

Littlewoods sent its head of internal audit, Gary Speakman, to Singapore to testify in the case for the prosecution. The charges alleged bribes worth $12,000 (pounds 5,000). "It was a ridiculous set of charges. On one count I was alleged to have taken a kickback of less than $1," said Mr Leese.

"I believed that the Singaporean system would prove my innocence, which it did, and that is why is I am preparing to take legal action there."

Littlewoods accepts that it gave information to the authorities. "We believe the matter may be reinstated and cannot comment on Mr Leese's actions," said a spokeswoman.

The case is the latest twist in the colourful tale of one of Britain's richest families, the Moores, which owns Littlewoods. The company launched an investigation in 1994 into a deal between Littlewoods and a Far Eastern trading company, Lorad, run by Mr Leese.

The Singapore-based company was used by Littlewoods in order to cut out middlemen when buying merchandise in Asia. The deal between the company and Lorad was set up by a group of senior executives, all of whom have subsequently been ousted or left.

One faction of the Moores family became so concerned about the deal with Lorad that it hired a private detective agency, Network Security Management, to investigate the transaction.

However, there has recently been some disquiet over the bills clocked up by Network - believed to top pounds 15m. It has been accused of "interrogating" managers - one even ended up on a course of valium - in pursuing its investigation.

Documents seen by The Independent show that the Littlewoods board was concerned whether "the activities undertaken by them [Network] are in the interests of the company". Shareholders have also become increasingly uneasy about the ensuing investigations.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

BA/PM,EMIR/Dodd-Frank,London,£450-650P/D

£450 - £650 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Senior Analyst - ALM Data - Banking - Halifax

£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Analyst, ALM Data, Halifax, ...

Java developer - Banking - London - Up to £600/day

£500 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Java developer - Banking - London - Up to £600/d...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star