Man in Salvation Army case admits cash move: Businessman signed to switch money into investment account

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The Independent Online
ONE OF the businessmen accused of defrauding the Salvation Army of pounds 6.2m was made a signatory of one of its bank accounts from which millions were given to an investment company that 'lost' it.

Gamil Naguib, 63, was one of three men who had power to give dollars 4.3m to the Creedvale International Investment Corporation (CIIC) before the money vanished, but investigators believe he had secret links with the investment company.

Mr Naguib, who has been traced to Antwerp by the Independent, admitted yesterday that he signed for the movement of the money into CIIC's account at Cregem Bank International in Luxembourg but he denied he had any links with CIIC.

However, it is understood investigators have established that CIIC is the trading arm of the Islamic Panamerican Bank, which was named with Mr Naguib and Stuart Ford, another financier, in a High Court writ lodged by the charity last month. The Islamic Panamerican Bank is believed to be a bogus organisation but literature and business cards name Mr Naguib as its general manager.

Salvation Army officials set up an account at the ASLK-CGER Bank in Antwerp last year with dollars 10m earmarked for the purchase of standby letters of credit, which can be traded at a profit as they reach their maturity date. The signatories of that account were Col Grenville Burn, a Salvation Army fund-raiser who has since been suspended, Col Ivor Rich, the charity's business administration manager, and Mr Ford, who lives in Birmingham but who has been out of the country since the writ was issued. Contrary to earlier reports, Mr Naguib was not a signatory.

At that point, the charity had control of movement of the money, but, at Mr Naguib's request, dollars 8.8m was transferred to an account at the Banque Continentale du Luxembourg. According to Mr Naguib, the signatories to that account were Col Burn, Mr Ford and Mr Naguib. The move meant only Col Burn directly represented the charity's interests.

Mr Naguib said he was authorised by Col Burn and Col Rich to buy a standby letter of credit with a face value of dollars 5m for the sum of dollars 4.35m from CIIC. The profit to the charity would have been dollars 650,000. He said the money was moved to CIIC's bank account, at which point the Salvation Army lost all control of the cash. Mr Naguib said there were only two signatories to that account - himself and a director of CIIC whom he refuses to name. He said yesterday that the money was transferred from the Cregem Bank to another bank, believed to be the Kansallis International Bank, also in Luxembourg, without his permission.

That bank was, he said, holding a standby letter of credit issued by Barclays Bank in England, but neither the letter of credit nor the money found its way back into CIIC's account. He said legal action was initiated between the banks after about four weeks at the end of last year and he claims the money is frozen and 'safe'.

He also said a criminal prosecution had been initiated by police in Luxembourg, but British police know nothing of such a case. Despite earlier promises to help police with their inquiries, Mr Naguib said he had no plans to fly to London. 'I would like so much to do that but my financial means are all frozen,' he said. 'I am living from day to day. I don't accept charity from anyone.'