Nobu Su, the disgraced former shipping magnate, is completing his first week in a British prison, having been been found guilty last Friday on 15 of 17 counts of contempt of court.
Su, once of one of Asia’s largest shipowners, in charge of Taipei-headquartered TMT, was handed a 21-month sentence by a judge at a court in London last week, in a long-running battle Su had with Polys Haji-Ianou, the head of World Tankers Management, over an FFA deal that went sour in 2008. The verdict will likely now lead to the sequestration of many of Su’s assets.
Su was detained by British police as he came off a plane in January. His passport was taken by authorities at which point Su checked into the Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane, a regular haunt of his when in London. He promptly then checked out of that hotel and into the Intercontinental nearby, which he also checked out of straight away and made for Liverpool where he tried to take a ferry to Belfast, but he was apprehended and was then put under house arrest, albeit in the five-star surroundings of the Intercontinental in the run-up to his latest court case.
The judge deemed that Su had regularly been spending money he claimed not to have, hitting out at the tycoon for failing to disclose the recent sale of properties in Monaco as well as Su’s decision to spend a six-figure sum on a documentary, The Outsider, about his life. Su’s claims of mental illness were dismissed by the judge.
Su is currently at Pentonville prison. Founded in 1842, the prison has had some high profile names incarcerated there over the years including the writer Oscar Wilde and pop star George Micheal. He is likely to be transferred to an open prison soon.
Sources close to Su tell Splash he is readying an appeal, and has not given up in his other court fights including a long running spat with Royal Bank of Scotland.