Friday, June 03, 2005

Residents disappointed at Attorney General decision to drop case

Harbour Views alleged embezzlement

Lack of conclusive evidence regarding the disappearance back in 1999 of over £70,000 cash from Harbour Views management company funds has led to the case being dropped — at least for the time being.

According to informed sources a further £15,000 from the management company also apparently went missing in similar circumstances in the year 2000. The money was never recovered.

It is understood residents at the estate are bitterly disappointed by the Attorney General’s decision not to proceed with the case.

Speaking to the Chronicle yesterday an Royal Gibraltar Police spokesman confirmed that there was not enough evidence to pursue the matter further.

A local man had been arrested in connection with the case but no charges were subsequently pressed. An RG police spokesman said:

“In early September 2004 we received a complaint alleging that over £70,000 had gone missing from the Harbour Views management company funds.

It was a lengthy investigation and we interviewed members and employees of the management company. We carried out one arrest and sought legal advice on the case.

At this stage we do not have enough evidence to pursue the matter.”

The length of time taken in reporting the case to the police may have been a contributory factor in the outcome of the case.

It is understood that a large number of people had had access to the money which has made it even more difficult to pin down the culprit.

The police spokesman added that if new evidence came to light, “we would reactivate the case.”

“Bad Administration” — says HV Committee

Harbour Views management company yesterday expressed disappointment at the outcome of the case. A spokesman for the committee regretted the situation and stated that although they had not given up all hope, the indications were that the money lost would not be recovered. He said the problem had been one of “bad administration and poor retention of documents to show where expenditure had gone.” He also expressed criticism that the management company at the time had not acted when the auditors had expressed dissatisfaction with the accounts.

The spokesman declared that the Attorney General was not confident that there was enough evidence to secure a conviction in front of a jury. He added:

“Residents are upset that the police has not been able to come up with substantial evidence to point at anyone in particular. Our shareholders at a recent AGM have accepted that the money could not be recovered.”


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