Operations manager's return sought from Russia

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The Independent Online
City regulators and police are seeking the return from Russia of Andrew Stuart MacDonald Rooke, an operations manager in the City office of a German bank, over a non-existent £1m payment he tried to make to himself. Mr Rooke was registered with the Securities and Futures Authority by his employers Bayerische Landesbank Girozentrale (BLG) in February 1993. In July of that year he was sacked by the bank for having sent to his solicitors "a false document, purporting to come from BLG, that notified the solicitors that BLG would be paying £1m for Mr Rooke's benefit".

BLG had not made any such payment and had no reason to do so, the SFA said yesterday. But a Disciplinary Tribunal into the matter held by the SFA late last year had to go ahead without Mr Rooke, as he had gone to Russia, and "was unwilling to return", according to the SFA.

Investigators have also unearthed a number of bizarre untrue claims that Mr Rooke, aged 38, made to his employers and the authorities, including that he had seven A-level passes and had acquired Italian professional qualifications.

The Securities and Futures Authority, the City regulator, yesterday expelled Mr Rooke and fined him £20,000 plus £5,000 costs.

The SFA described Mr Rooke as blatantly dishonest and called his case "one of the most serious of its kind".

The City of London Police have issued a warrant for Mr Rooke's arrest and are currently seeking his return from Russia.

In July 1993 BLG told the SFA why Mr Rooke had been sacked, and the SFA started questioning him. He then flew to Russia and has refused requests to return. An SFA spokesman said he did not know which part of Russia Mr Rooke was staying in, or whether it would be possible to extradite him.

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