Fury as £6m ‘drains’away fromMinMet

SHAREHOLDERSDEMANDFRAUDOFFICE IN­QUIRY

The Mail on Sunday - - The Enterprise Zone - By SI­MON FLU­ENDY

SHARE­HOLD­ERS in Aim-listed nat­u­ral re­sources group Min­Met have handed a file to the Se­ri­ous Fraud Of­fice and Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Author­ity, claim­ing that £6.7 mil­lion has been trans­ferred from the firm to groups linked to the chair­man.

Led by in­vestor Waseem Shakoor, the share­hold­ers are wor­ried that a group headed by chair­man Peter Mad­docks has drained cash to com­pa­nies linked to him and his as­so­ciates.

They are also con­cerned about links be­tween Mad­docks and Les­lie Greyling, who spent years in prison in Amer­ica. Greyling was con­victed of fraud and was con­nected to a Mafia- linked ‘pump and dump’ share scheme by Fi­nan­cial Mail in 2001.

Mad­docks be­came a di­rec­tor on Au­gust 20 when two firms linked to him bought 7.48 per cent of Min­Met. Within days, the com­pany had put huge sums into firms where Mad­docks was a di­rec­tor. Al­most £8.2 mil­lion has been given or promised to Mad­docks-linked firms. Share­hold­ers did not hear all the de­tails un­til Jan­uary 21.

Shakoor said: ‘I find it as­ton­ish­ing that a com­pany laden with huge cash bal­ances should lend to firms that have fi­nan­cial cred­i­bil­ity.’

Shakoor holds a let­ter from for­mer Min­Met chair­man Mike Burchell, that says the deal at the heart of the loans was not ap­proved by him and an­other for­mer di­rec­tor.

Burchell’s Gold Oil com­pany later sold its shares in Min­Met to a Mad­docks com­pany. Gold Oil net­ted £2.6 mil­lion by sell­ing the shares at an 80 per cent pre­mium to the then share price.

Mad­docks said he was ‘not sur­prised’ about Shakoor’s com­plaint. He de­nied that Greyling had been con­victed of fraud.

Robert Lo, cor­po­rate fi­nancier at Nabarro Wells, which took over as ad­viser shortly af­ter dis­puted deals took place, said: ‘The way the com­pany’s af­fairs have been man­aged in the past leaves some­thing to be de­sired. We are work­ing with direc­tors to en­sure they un­der­stand their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties un­der the Aim code.’

Min­Met shares are sus­pended at 81⁄ 2p.

min­i­mal

MAFIA LINKS: Les­lie Greyling was con­victed of fraud in the US

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