Report: Adviser to eccentric Australian politician arrested in connection with kidnapping plot

Associated Press

The media adviser to eccentric Australian lawmaker Clive Palmer has been arrested in relation to an alleged kidnapping, local media reported Friday.

Andrew Crook, spokesman for the multimillionaire mining magnate turned politician, was arrested as part of an investigation into the alleged kidnapping of a National Australia Bank executive in Indonesia, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said.

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Queensland state police confirmed only that two men were arrested Friday, and a warrant for a third man had been issued, on charges stemming 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."

Police declined to release additional details ahead of a press conference planned later Friday.

The ABC said Palmer is not believed to have had any knowledge of the plot. Palmer's office declined to comment.

The ABC reported that police believe Crook and another man were involved in an attempt last year to coerce a witness in a $70 million civil case to recant his evidence. The network said police believe the two lured the witness, an executive with National Australia Bank, to Singapore and then to Batam Island in Indonesia under the pretense of a potential job offer from Palmer. Once on the island, police will allege the witness was threatened and forced to make a statement recanting his evidence, the ABC said.