SFO questions Lord Tryon in tax fraud inquiry

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The Independent Online
The Serious Fraud Office has questioned Lord Tryon, a close friend of the Prince of Wales, as part of an international tax fraud investigation being co-ordinated by Norwegian authorities.

He is one of a number of merchant bankers, including Lord Kindersley, a former chairman of Brent Walker, quizzed by the SFO in recent months on behalf of the Norwegian authorities. A spokesman for the SFO said yesterday: "The SFO has provided assistance to the Norwegian authorities in connection with a major tax fraud.

"In connection with the investigation, a number of people have been interviewed under Section 2 of the 1987 Criminal Justice Act and a number of search warrants have been executed," the spokesman added.

He declined to reveal the identity of the individuals questioned. But sources said that Lord Tryon and Lord Kindersley were among those interviewed under the SFO's special powers which deny interviewees the right to silence.

Lord Tryon was quoted at the weekend as saying he had been interviewed only as a witness. "There is absolutely no question of wrongdoing by me," he said.

Lord Tryon's wife, Dale, is also a friend of the prince's. Last May she fractured her skull and broke her back when she fell out of a window at a clinic. Reports claimed she had been pushed but Surrey Police concluded there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the case.

The SFO is involved in the British side of an investigation by the Norwegian authorities into the fortune of Anders Jahre, a Norwegian shipping magnate who died in 1982. They believe he had transferred large sums of his money offshore to evade tax.

Much of that fortune was managed by Lazards, a London merchant bank, where Lord Tryon and Lord Kindersley were directors and involved in running the offshore company which controlled Mr Jahre's fortune.The shipping magnate's estate is pursuing legal action against Lazards and Lord Kindersley.

Lord Kindersley could not be reached for comment yesterday.