FORMER COAST HIGH FLYER EMBROILED IN NAB KIDNAP ALLEGATIONS
Written on the 19 December 2014 by Nick Nichols
BREAKFREE founder and former Aussie Rules footballer Tony Smith appears to be at the centre of sensational new claims involving an alleged kidnapping of a National Australia Bank executive in Indonesia.
The allegations also have embroiled Clive Palmer's PR man Andrew Crook, along with a Gold Coast private investigator.
Details remain unclear, although Queensland Police will brief media on the matter this afternoon.
Police say Taskforce Maxima's Criminal Economy Team uncovered evidence while investigating another matter, leading to the arrest of two men and a warrant issued for a third man.
"The arrested men are 51 from the Gold Coast and 48 from New Farm. The third man, aged 48, is not currently in Australia," says the brief police statement.
"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."
It is understood that Crook is among those arrested, while the warrant has been issued for Smith who has been living in Bali in recent years.
Smith has kept a low profile since about 2009, rebuilding a fortune lost following the $2 billion collapse of former Gold Coast funds manager MFS (later renamed Octaviar).
Smith had a significant shareholding in MFS after the company took over his BreakFree business, but faced problems when he was issued with margin calls by his bank following a massive slump of the MFS share price in early 2008.
The tourism entrepreneur ultimately pulled himself out of the financial hole by selling his unfinished Hedges Avenue mansion to Daniel Tzvetkoff for $27 million.
He later moved to Bali where he developed and operates luxury resorts. Earlier this year he was back in the Gold Coast property market, buying a beachfront site for $8.5 million.
Author: Nick Nichols