Rangers chairman Dave King has told a court that he fears there are shareholders in the club who have links to organised crime.
The businessman, 63, made the revelation during a hearing into whether he wilfully breached a legal order compelling him to make an offer to buy remaining shares in the side.
He told the Court of Session on Friday that he was “100 per cent committed” to offering to buy the equity of people who want a part of Rangers.
But he told his lawyer Jonathan Mitchell QC that he wouldn’t be able to make the offer to four shareholders at the club because they had links to serious criminal activity.
He said that he participated in a Rangers board meeting last Monday which concluded with the directors stating that the four shareholders couldn’t transfer their stakes in any sale.
Speaking about one of the shareholders with suspected links, Mr King added: “They were engaged in criminal activities in the USA. There was an intervention from the authorities there and they were put in administration.
“They’ve got links to organised crime…money laundering.”
The South African resident was giving evidence on the second day of proceedings at Scotland’s highest civil court.
Financial watchdog, the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers, have taken Mr King to court because it believes he has deliberately flouted a December 2017 judgement that required him to make a multi-million-pound offer to buy remaining shares in the club following the takeover of Rangers in late 201 by Mr King and the so called “three bears” – businessmen George Letham, George Taylor and Douglas Park.
That order was made after the panel’s lawyers argued that Mr King didn’t comply with the terms of the 2006 Companies Act, which states that entrepreneurs who hold a 30 per cent stake in businesses are compelled to make an offer to buy remaining shares.
IN court yesterday, Mr King said: “I think we can move forward fairly quickly. I’m 100-per-cent committed to making a code compliant offer.
“I’m determined to do the best that I can.”
Mr King said that it was always his intention to comply with the share offer and he wasn’t in “wilful” defiance of the order made.
Mr King denies being in contempt of court.
The hearing continues.