Ex-Rangers owner Craig Whyte arrested at airport

Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte is in police custody in Mexico. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte is in police custody in Mexico. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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FORMER Rangers owner Craig Whyte arrived back in the United Kingdom last night after being detained while trying to enter Mexico.

The 43-year-old landed at London Heathrow Airport where he was met by the authorities.

It is understood that police officers detained Whyte on arrival at the London airport from Mexico City.

He was first detained by Mexican authorities after being refused entry into the Central American country.

His arrest was a result of a warrant issued a fortnight ago in connection with an investigation into the sale of Rangers Football Club in 2011.

Whyte took control of the Ibrox club in May 2011 but it went into administration in February the following year. It is understood he was held by Mexican police on Wednesday.

He is now expected to travel north for an appearance at Glasgow Sheriff Court today. A Crown Office spokesman said: “We can confirm a 43-year-old man is in custody, following the execution of arrest warrant, and is expected to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court tomorrow.

“As proceedings are active and subject to contempt, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

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Four men appeared in court earlier this month charged with fraudulent activity linked to the sale of the club three years ago.

Gary Withey, 50, David Whitehouse, 49, Paul Clark, 50, and David Grier, 53, were granted bail following a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

A separate arrest warrant was issued for Whyte after he failed to attend a court hearing last week at the Royal Courts of Justice in London after being ordered to pay more than £18 million to Ticketus.

Whyte bought Rangers from Sir David Murray for £1 in May 2011 and gave an undertaking to settle its £18m Lloyds Bank debt.It later emerged he paid the debt by selling three years of season tickets to finance firm Ticketus for £25m.

Rangers entered administration while under Mr Whyte’s control, over non-payment of tax totalling about £14m.

The administration and subsequent liquidation of the club resulted in Whyte’s deal with Ticketus being declared void.

The finance firm successfully sued him for £18m over the failed transaction. Whyte was later banned from being a company director for the maximum period of 15 years after a judge heard his conduct in dealing with Rangers was “shocking and reprehensible”.

The news of Whyte’s detention was welcomed by Rangers boss Ally McCoist.

He said: “It’s a police matter which I obviously wouldn’t and couldn’t comment on. But I am pleased that the police are doing something about it, to be quite honest. I think everybody in the club is.”

Reports yesterday morning also suggested major figures from the club’s recent past could be called to give evidence in the impending court proceedings.

Former owner Sir David Murray and ex-boss Walter Smith are likely to be called as witnesses, it was claimed.

Also likely to be asked to give their version of events are former directors Alastair Johnston – both axed from the club’s board by Whyte – as well as former chief executive Martin Bain, who is now working for Israeli football club Maccabi Tel Aviv.

McCoist confirmed he has been warned he may have to take the stand.

He said: “I have been sent information that [giving evidence] might be a possibility.”

SEE ALSO:

Craig Whyte vows to return to UK for questioning

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