Police allege three men have concocted an elaborate plan to lure a NAB employee to an Indonesian Island and threaten him to force an omission which would be used in a civil court case.
Earlier today it was reported the men involved included Clive Palmer’s long-serving media adviser Andrew Crook, Gold Coast private investigator Mick Featherstone and property developer Tony Smith kidnapped the employee who was a key witness in a court case and forced him to retract his statement.
Police would not confirm the identities of the men until they appear in court. They did confirm the three men allegedly involved are a 51-year-old man from the Gold Coast and a 48-year-old man from the Brisbane suburb of New Farm, while the third man, aged 48, is not currently in Australia but a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
The two men detained in Queensland have been charged with retaliation of a witness, attempting to pervert the course of justice and attempted fraud.
“The charges stem from an elaborate scheme which police will allege was planned partly in Queensland with key elements executed in Singapore and Indonesia before returning to Queensland where the offences were committed,” police said.
Police said the 48 year old man used his media company to make the plan, which they described as “elaborate” and “bizarre,” look like “the real deal”.
They said the three men lured the employee using a “fictitious interview” for a global finance manager position with Clive Palmer.
Police said Palmer is not involved in this investigation in “any shape or form” what so ever.
“He is a victim of the circumstances of this case where his name has been used,” Queensland Police said.
“There’s been a lot of planning to put this together.
“Together they have schemed to come up with a plan to illicit a confession from an NAB employee.”
The confession the men allegedly coerced from the NAB employee was “intended to be used in upcoming civil matters,” police said.
In August 2012, the Supreme Court of Queensland dismissed a civil claim against NAB by the third man who is currently overseas. Police are yet to talk to him.
“Following the Supreme Court decision, it will be alleged the third man engaged the services of the two other men, together scheming to trick the bank employee into admitting he had provided false testimony in the civil matter,” police said.
Here’s what police will allege:
It will be alleged that two plans were formed in January 2013. Both of these plans involved luring the bank employee to an Indonesian island, located off the coast of Singapore.
It will be alleged the employee willingly attended the island in the belief that they were going to take part in a lucrative job interview.
The legitimacy of the offer was allegedly provided by the 48-year-old charged man. It will also be alleged that the 51-year-old man assumed the role of the job interviewer and attempted to obtain recorded admissions from the bank employee that he had lied during the 2012 civil matter to protect the bank’s interests. It will be alleged the 51 year old assumed a false identity during the interview process.
After failing to obtain any admissions from the bank employee, it will be alleged that a second plan was implemented which saw two Indonesian nationals dress in what appeared to be security-type uniforms enter the room, detain the bank employee and seize his mobile phone, wallet and passport.
It will also be alleged that the third man also made his presence known and threatened the employee which ultimately led to him being coerced into making a confessional video before they would allow him to leave the island.
It will be further alleged the video footage and other falsified documentation were used in an attempt to have the bank reopen negotiations associated with the 2012 civil proceedings and also as potential evidence in a current civil matter involving the bank employee.
The investigation is ongoing.
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