There was an interesting footnote to the Daily Record’s coverage of Ed Miliband’s attack on Mike Ashley over the latter’s penchant for zero hour contracts; commenting on the recent flurry of Police activity regarding the acquisition of Rangers by Craig Whyte, it read :
“The warrant was issued on the day four men – David Grier, Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, who worked for Rangers administrators Duff & Phelps, and Gary Withey, who represented Whyte – were all detained by police in England acting on behalf of Police Scotland. They are due to appear in court tomorrow.
Police Scotland, who are leading a joint operation with HMRC, said “inquires are ongoing” in to the whereabouts of Whyte.”
What makes that footnote particularly interesting is that Police Scotland’s Specialist Economic Crime Unit are once again working jointly with HMRC. Some will remember that until recently the former were investigating the latter with regard to leaks of confidential information in the Rangers Tax Case although “they found no evidence that the leaks came from within HMRC”. Perhaps it’s unavoidable given the scope of the enquiry and the limitations on resources but does it not strike anyone else as peculiar that we now have a former suspect at the forefront of an investigation into our club?
An agency which itself has been open to considerable criticism over their handling of the whole sorry mess, with serious questions being asked about their professional competency. We don’t need to do “conspiracy theories” when it comes to HMRC – the facts themselves suggest that there are considerable grounds for a government enquiry into their handling of the matter. The latest criminal developments only serve to add fuel to an already highly flammable topic.
This after all is the same government agency whom:-
1. As per Keith Jackson’s Daily record expose` allowed Craig Whyte, a man they were already pursuing for tax related matters to the tune of £4 million, to assume control of a company and then fail to contribute PAYE for a period of 9 months and as a consequence forced the company into administration.
2. Treated complaints from Rangers shareholders regarding breaches of confidentiality in the Rangers Tax Case as “speculation about alleged breaches of confidentiality” whilst the platforms for the foregoing breaches, The Rangers Tax Case Blog and the BBC Scotland documentary – “The Men Who Sold The Jerseys” were picking up various awards courtesy of the confidential information they had broadcast.
3. Despite the investigation aforementioned by Police Scotland, have failed to explain how evidence in the Rangers Tax case, of which they were custodians, ended up in the hands of BBC Scotland. The remarks and summation by Lord Nimmo Smith in his SPL Commission Report have not been forgotten by the Rangers support, nor will the matter be allowed to rest until a sufficient explanation is provided as to how or who was responsible for such leaks.
The Rangers support will welcome the latest flexing of the long arm of the law, not only from the sense of seeing some modicum of justice, but also a means of providing answers, long overdue answers to some of the questions this particularly dark period has caused.
I doubt all will welcome such developments.
The latest actions by the law enforcement agencies confirm what many of us have suspected for a considerable time – that our club has been used as the vehicle for a fairly elaborate and complex fraudulent scheme and in every sense is itself the victim of the perpetrators. It will be interesting to see whether there is a determination within our club to seek recompense, financial or otherwise, in respect of those who sought to punish the crime’s victim.
The tale which will unfold if only half the story however. The decision making process at HMRC and their conduct into the investigation of our club is the untold story.
The latter is a story which needs to be told and only a full public enquiry will suffice.