Galleon founder had planned UK meetings

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The Independent Online

Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge fund boss arrested in the US on insider dealing charges, was picked up by the authorities as he prepared for a trip to see a number of British companies, it emerged yesterday.

Mr Rajaratnam had set up meetings with a number of British advisers, such as the stockbroker Collins Stewart, as part of a plan he had been working on to launch a specialist investment fund focused on the country of his birth, Sri Lanka.

Sources close to Collins Stewart said Mr Rajaratnam had hoped to seek its advice on setting up the fund, and that a meeting had been planned for its Singapore office. All contact has now ceased, however.

Mr Rajaratnam was arrested by US prosecutors last week, with the authorities citing his travel plans as one reason for their swoop. He has subsequently been released on $100m bail, while investigators probe further Galleon, the hedge fund he ran and which they say made money by illegally trading on inside information.

Mr Rajaratnam had hoped to raise as much as $200m for his investment fund, which would have been listed on the Alternative Investment Market in London. It would have invested in a range of Sri Lankan assets, with a special emphasis on infrastructure projects.