Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Nadir 'stole to boost share price'

Asil Nadir denies stealing millions from his former Polly Peck business empire between 1987 and 1990

Tycoon Asil Nadir used millions of pounds he stole from his Polly Peck empire to bolster its share price, the Old Bailey has been told.

He used a series of companies administered from Switzerland to secretly buy thousands of shares in the international conglomerate.

This increased Polly Peck International's (PPI) Stock Exchange rating and also Nadir's wealth, said Philip Shears QC, prosecuting.

He said: "The primary purpose of some or all of those dealings was to support the share price of PPI by creating a false or misleading impression as to ... the demand for such shares.

"Each penny on the share price of PPI increased the value of Asil Nadir's disclosed shareholding, just under a million pounds, so it was important to support the share price or increase it."

In September 1990, after Nadir's South Audley Management company was raided by the Serious Fraud Office, Nadir's chauffeur had removed documents about the companies from Switzerland to northern Cyprus, said Mr Shears.

The jury has heard that PPI was put into administration in October 1990 with debts of £550 million. It is alleged Nadir siphoned off nearly £150 million from PPI through northern Cyprus in the three years before.

When administrators went there hoping to recover funds, they found nothing but a "black hole", jurors heard.

Nadir, 70, of Mayfair, central London, denies 13 sample charges alleging he stole £34 million from PPI between 1987 and 1990.

Mr Shears said Nadir had been due to stand trial in 1993 but fled to northern Cyprus, only to return in August 2010.

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