Thursday, 22 July 2010

The £300,000 Questions (Updated)

In the summer of 2008, the McCanns employed a firm of Private Detectives, called Oakley International, to search for missing Madeleine. Oakley charged £300,000 for approximately six months worth of their services, which apparently yielded no results.

The McCanns were duped, at best - Oakley International turned out to be a one-man band, headed by Irish national Kevin Halligen, who has since been arrested for attempted fraud, his assets frozen and today**, he faces an extradition hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates Court.

He is wanted by the US in relation to money taken from a Dutch company, Trafigura, as part of a deal to secure the release of executives under arrest in the Cote d'Ivoire. Instead, the money was spent on a mansion and a high-maintenance girlfriend.

Now given that the Find Madeleine Fund has, in all probability, been royally ripped off by this man, you would think that the McCanns would also be pursuing him to recoup at least some, if not all, of their £300,000.

But there are two interesting twists to this tale, which I believe is far from over.

1. Please Google for today's extradition hearing. You will find no mention of it at all, anywhere, in the UK media. Yet this is potentially, very explosive news indeed.

2. Far from pursuing Mr Halligen for any sort of refund or recompense, the McCann's spokesperson, Clarence Mitchell, has quite firmly stated that the matter of Oakley International is "closed".

Halligen was originally "recommended" by double-glazing and Rugby tycoon, Brian Kennedy, of the Latium group. His company lawyer, Ed Smethurst, is seconded to No Stone Unturned.

**Kevin Halligen's Extradition Hearing has since been postponed until August 18.