Bahrain resident denies UK fraud
Manama, April 25, 2011
A Bahrain resident, reportedly under investigation for allegedly using the royal family's name to fraudulently obtain shares in a UK investment bank and take control of an English football club, has denied the allegations.
The Briton, who we are not naming for legal reasons, was at the centre of a report by BBC's Panorama programme called The Trillion Dollar Conman, which was first aired in the UK last Monday.
"They are completely untrue, all the charges against me are outrageous," he claimed yesterday, but refused to comment further.
Panorama accused the Briton of obtaining 49 per cent of First London Plc investment bank without paying anything and in 2009 buying Notts County Football Club for GBP1 million ($1.65 million), by falsely stating he was managing money belonging to the Bahrain royal family.
He also claimed his Swiss-based mining company had assets worth almost $2 trillion because it had the rights to North Korea's gold, coal and iron ore, according to the BBC.
First London went into administration last year due to debts of GBP8.7 million and Notts County was forced to declare bankruptcy with debts amounting to over GBP7 million.
The BBC programme claimed several famous faces were taken in by the scam, including former England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and former UK spymaster Sir John Walker.
It said the Serious Fraud Office was now probing the scam, while British police were investigating the takeover of the football club after it emerged that a man introduced to officials as a Middle Eastern prince was actually a wanted fraudster.
Information Affairs Authority (IAA) president Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa confirmed to the programme that the man at the centre of the allegations was not responsible for managing any money belonging to Bahrain's royal family. – TradeArabia News Service