Fury as £6m ‘drains’away fromMinMet
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.
MAFIA LINKS: Leslie Greyling was convicted of fraud in the US