Lord Moyne probe turns to Barclays accounts

British and Swedish investigators are pressing their investigation into the missing funds at Trustor, the Stockholm-based investment company controlled by Lord Moyne - Jonathan Guinness of the brewing dynasty - by concentrating their attention on a Barclays bank branch in Cheapside, London.

In June, Lord Moyne, 67, paid nearly pounds 20m to buy a 52 per cent voting stake in Trustor. Later pounds 48m was transferred from Trustor's account in Sweden to a Trustor account in London and then allegedly disappeared. Ten days ago, Peter Mattsson, 31, a friend of Lord Moyne, and another Swedish businessman, were arrested in Stockholm. Lord Moyne, blaming his Swedish associates for letting him down, insisted that he and his colleague, Lindsay Smallbone, who resigned as Trustor chief executive, had traced all Trustor's funds.

In a trail of staggering complexity, money moved from the Trustor account in Stockholm to the Barclays account in London. From there, some of it moved to other accounts in the UK and overseas. Some of these accounts were held in the name of the peer and others in a company account linked to Mr Smallbone, a New Zealander.

According to the Swedish state prosecutor, Bo Skarinder, who has yet to talk to Lord Moyne or Mr Smallbone, there is around pounds 10.6m in an account in Barclays Cheapside. "But I am not sure how much money is in the other accounts," said Mr Skarinder. "I am not sure about the information I have been given."

Mr Skarinder is waiting for a full report from Barclays Bank. Mr Smallbone, who at one stage had a pounds 450,000 first mortgage on his Chelsea home, held one of his many bank accounts at the branch. He was also a director of Glotec Mining, a small Welsh mining venture that banked at the branch. According to people familiar with the company's affairs, Mr Smallbone fell out with fellow directors over money.

The Barclays branch also held an account in the name of a company called Introcom. Investigators say they are interested in whether there are links between Introcom International, a Gilbraltar-registered company, and Introcom, a PR company implicated in a separate Department of Trade inquiry into Access to Justice. Lord Moyne was a director of this company, which was shut down by the Government in September after an investigation.

Lord Moyne was a director of Introcom, which was partly owned by Effex International Investment, a UK foreign exchange trading company that went bust in 1995 owing Norwegian and UK clients pounds 18m. Mr Mattsson, who later formed a company with Lord Moyne, resigned as a director of Effex before the company went under. His former partner Birger Oestraat was jailed for fraud.

Introcom used to arrange parties at the Tory Carlton Club for clients, including Mr Oestraat. Introcom was involved with the launch of Tajik Air, an airline that briefly operated from London to Tajikistan. The operation suspended flights in February 1994, and the City of London Fraud Squad was called in after complaints from creditors.

Neither Lord Moyne nor Mr Smallbone responded to phone calls. Ten days ago, Lord Moyne was removed after 40 years as a trustee of The Guinness Trust charitable housing association. According to Al Dankis, finance director of the Trust, he failed to attend a meeting at which each member of the board had to ratify the launch of a pounds 600m bond issue, the charity's first-ever City financing.

Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg

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