Serious Fraud Office unclear on how much Polly Peck money stolen by Asil Nadir can be recovered

 

The Serious Fraud Office said today “it is not yet clear” how much of the money Asil Nadir stole from Polly Peck International (PPI) can be recovered.

Case Manager from the SFO Clare Whitaker said a claim will be made for compensation, which it is hoped will be given to the administrators of PPI.

The company collapsed in 1990 with debts of £550 million, and Nadir was convicted at the Old Bailey of stealing a total of £28.6 million from the company.

Ms Whitaker said: "A claim will be made for compensation which we hope will be awarded to the administrators of PPI. It's not yet clear how many of the assets will be recoverable.

"We're pleased that the jury's verdict has confirmed what we've always said, which is that the collapse of Polly Peck was caused by Mr Nadir's behaviour.

"Mr Nadir is an intelligent man and he had a complex network of companies and trusts in order to route the money out of the jurisdiction and conceal where it had gone from his creditors."

She said the cost to the SFO of bringing the case to court was around £3 million, but there was work still to be done over the next month in relation to the compensation claim.

Stephen Parkinson from law firm Kingsley Napley said the SFO had done "particularly well" in prosecuting the mammoth case.

But he said doubts have been raised over the future of the SFO, which is facing funding cuts alongside a reported £100 million lawsuit by property magnate Vincent Tchenguiz over its investigation into the Icelandic bank Kaupthing.

Mr Parkinson said: "The SFO has done particularly well given the circumstances, such as the age of this case and the fact that a third of the witnesses couldn't be traced, have died or were too sick to give evidence.

"Moreover, many of the documents were either lost or corrupted in the intervening years.

"But notwithstanding this success, the factors which create uncertainty over the future of the SFO still exist, not least the lack of funding - £55 million in 2008, dropped to £33 million this year and (falling) to £29 million in 2014."

PA