Minister in tax evasion inquiry

A GOVERNMENT minister has been investigated for suspected tax evasion by the Inland Revenue, according to the man who headed the inquiry into the tax affairs of Asil Nadir.

Michael Allcock, the former head of the Inland Revenue's elite investigations unit, SO2, claims that while pursuing Nadir, he was also investigating a Tory minister suspected of using offshore companies to avoid tax. During an interview to be broadcast tonight in a World in Action documentary, Mr Allcock refuses to identify the minister. 'I am still a civil servant and it is quite improper for me to talk about individual cases,' he said. Mr Allcock is currently suspended from duty. He was arrested last month in connection with alleged bribery in a separate case. He has not been charged.

Mr Allcock was responsible for initiating the investigation into Asil Nadir. The Turkish Cypriot, who fled charges of theft and false accounting involving more than pounds 30m in May, holds him responsible for the downfall of Polly Peck. He claims that Mr Allcock pursued a vendetta against him and manufactured evidence.

It was disclosed last month that Coopers & Lybrand, the accountants looking after Nadir's private tax affairs, wrote to the chairman of the Inland Revenue Board accusing Mr Allcock of 'irregularities' in his investigation. The firm warned that unless these stopped, it would suspend routine co-operation with the tax authorities.

Mr Allcock denies any vendetta and sources close to his investigation have claimed that he was raising hackles because he was being effective.

It is understood that he had asked for a raid on Coopers & Lybrand, which would have seriously damaged the firm's credibility, in order to secure documents that were allegedly not forthcoming.

Mr Allcock admits that he passed on to the Stock Exchange the results of his investigation into offshore tax avoidance by Polly Peck. This was in breach of strict codes of confidentiality that prohibit Inland Revenue investigators making details of their research available to other bodies.

Michael Mates, the Northern Ireland minister who resigned after borrowing a car in breach of ministerial rules from PR consultants acting for Nadir, tells the programme that he was mistaken in suggesting that Mr Allcock had attempted to 'flee' from justice. Mr Mates made the allegation in a letter to the Attorney-General.

He now says that the 'misinformation' was given to him by Nadir's lawyers and that he accepted it without making independent inquiries.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

£13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Content Leader

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role requires a high level...

Recruitment Genius: Multi Drop Driver

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This food distribution company ...

Recruitment Genius: Multi Drop Driver

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This food distribution company ...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent