SNP fraud investigation cops looking at burner phone sim cards, luxury pens and fridge freezer

Published date23 April 2023
Publication titleDaily Record, The / Sunday Mail: Web Edition Articles (Scotland)
Officers are also probing the purchase of luxury pens, designer pots and pans and even a fridge freezer, the Sunday Mail can reveal

First MinisterHumza Yousafhas admitted he has seen a list of items on a warrant that police either have seized or want to trace as part of their probe into the whereabouts of £667,000 of donations said to be earmarked for an independence campaign.

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A luxury campervan has already been uplifted from the driveway ofNicola Sturgeon’smother-in-law’s home.

Jewellery also forms part of the investigation which has plunged the party into crisis.

Officers were understood to be looking for information from the sim cards which are commonly used in untraceable phones.

A source with knowledge of the investigation said: “Something police are looking for is sim cards used in unregistered mobile phones.

“They want to know the numbers connected with these cards which could also contain numbers called and text messages.

“It’s not uncommon for people to have unregistered mobile sim cards which can be bought from any shop, there’s nothing wrong with having a so-called burner phone but police want a record of these phones in the SNP.”

A burner phone is often used to stay anonymous and protect the usage and identification of the person who has it.

A second source said: “There is an extensive list of items that the police are interested in which will probably be surprising some people.

“It is mostly high value items - expensive pens, pots and pans, jewellery, but also a fridge freezer.

“This is a very extensive inquiry and clearly absolutely no stone is being left unturned.”

Two people - Nicola Sturgeon’s former CEO husband Peter Murrell and ex-treasurer Colin Beattie - have now been arrested and interviewed under caution before being released without charge.

It emerged yesterday that SNP MP Stuart McDonald has replaced Colin Beattie as party treasurer.

Beattie resigned last week after being arrested and interviewed by police investigating allegations of the missing funds.

He was arrested and released without charge pending further investigation into the party’s finances.

Former party chief executive Murrell - who resigned after the Sunday Mail was given inaccurate SNP membership numbers - was also arrested earlier this month and questioned before being released without charge.

The police investigation centres on donations to the party which were supposed to be...

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