Polly Peck's Asil Nadir guilty: who is 'most wanted' now?
Filed under: Scams & Fraud
So who is Nadir, and who are Britain's most wanted criminals?
The trialThe trial has been epic. Over seven months, the jury heard from a host of witnesses (many of them elderly) dredging up memories from 20 years ago. They then spent seven days deliberating, and so far have returned verdicts on four of the 13 counts that Nadir denies.
Nadir built the business from an East End rag trade firm into a business spanning everything from electronics to food. It owned the Del Monte brand for a while. However, it all fell apart in 1990 and the business collapsed owing £550 million. The firm was big news at the time, as it had been a star of the stockmarket, and Nadir was a big Conservative Party donor.
At that time the Northern Cypriot subsidiary Unipac is thought to have owed the business £439 million.
The crimeThe case hinges around transfers of cash to subsidiaries in Turkey and northern Cyprus. The most profitable divisions were based there at the time, but Nadir was said to have had close control over the businesses, which were not audited by the conglomerate's accountants.
He had personal control of the transfers of cash and the prosecution claims he benefited directly. The prosecution also claims that these are specimen charges, and that overall thefts may amount to more than £150 million.
FugitiveNadir is now 71. He was originally due to be tried in 1993, but fled to Northern Cyprus and only returned in 2010, after spending 17 years in exile in a country with no extradition arrangements with the UK.
He will definitely face prison, but we await the further verdicts and sentencing.
Most wantedHowever, while this deals with one of the more famous 'most wanted' criminals in the UK, the list of criminals who remain at large is astonishing. The latest list is permanently published, with mug shoots, on the crime stoppers website.
At the moment it features over 650 criminals, including 159 burglars, 65 violent criminals, 63 who are suspected of robbery and 41 who face fraud and forgery investigations - including the use of fake credit cards and cheques and money laundering.
There are also a number of serial smugglers, and more than 100 people wanted in connection with last year's riots after being caught on camera. Alarmingly there are several who are being recalled to prison and a number who are wanted after escaping from custody.
These people have public photographs, their last location is known, along with their name and a variety of other details, and yet they remain at large.
So while the high profile trial of Nadir is something to be welcomed, clearly this is just one small step in the capturing of Britain's fugitives.