Nadir acted as Cypriot 'banker'

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The Independent Online

Asil Nadir allowed Polly Peck companies in northern Cyprus to be used as "personal banking services" by Turkish and Cypriot businessmen, an accounting investigation has revealed.

The fugitive businessman, who said last week that he is prepared to return to the UK to face fraud and theft charges, secretly transferred nearly £200m from Polly Peck to companies in northern Cyprus in the two years before the group collapsed in 1990.

The transfers were so large that "the cumulative cash outflow became so great that the group was unable to meet its obligations to its bankers", an investigation by the City regulator, the Accountants' Joint Disciplinary Scheme (JDS), found.

The report details 88 transfers by Mr Nadir totalling £199m from Polly Peck to companies in northern Cyprus.

Much of the money was used for "what were in effect personal banking services for certain Turkish and [northern Cypriot] residents". Many of these people bought shares in Polly Peck and other companies run by the Nadir family.

Mr Nadir also emerged as the owner of £25m of properties in northern Cyprus purchased by Polly Peck. The ownership of another £22m of properties was unclear because no owner was recorded.

The tangled web woven by Mr Nadir made it difficult for PricewaterhouseCoopers, the administrator appointed to run Polly Peck, to retrieve the group's assets from northern Cyprus and Turkey.

Mr Nadir, who faces 66 charges alleging he stole £34m, fled the UK in 1993.

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