Police aid Salvation Army search for missing pounds 6.3m

FRAUD squad detectives have been asked to investigate the whereabouts of the dollars 8.8m ( pounds 6.3m) allegedly stolen from the Salvation Army and to find the two men accused of taking the cash, writes Steve Boggan.

Scotland Yard yesterday confirmed that it had received a complaint from the charity about the missing funds, although its inquiries will be put on hold until next week when details of the Army's own inquiry will be handed over.

The whereabouts of Stuart Ford and his associate Gamil Naguib, the two men named in High Court writs demanding the return of the money, remained a mystery yesterday.

Captain Peter Smith, the charity's legal secretary, confirmed the Army had 'opened a dialogue' with the police but he said no formal complaint had been made. However, a spokesman for the Metropolitan and City company fraud department said an allegation had been made and officers would begin inquiries next week.

Mr Ford, of Birmingham, his company, Tilen Securities Inc, and Mr Naguib, believed to be an Egyptian Canadian, were accused in court of conspiring to defraud the Salvation Army of dollars 8.8m.