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Commonwealth Games 2014 site in Glasgow hit by firebomb attack

 Russell Findlay - Sunday Mail - September 20th 2009

Architects drawing of the 2014 Commonwelth Games masterplan
The Commonwealth Games athletes village site in Glasgow has been firebombed. Fireraisers targeted the £300million development the day after a security firm set up guard there.

A £40,000 digger was destroyed in a petrol bomb attack after a rival firm, who were banned from bidding for the contract, had insisted they wanted on the site.

Gard, where drug dealer David Faulds is a director, were banned from bidding because they are not members of the Security Industry Authority's approved contractor scheme.

A source said: "Gard told the contractors they provide security in that area.

"It was explained to them that it wasn't up to the contractor who was hired because the tendering process was controlled by Glasgow City Council."

At least one petrol bomb was thrown at machinery on the site of the village in Dalmarnock, Glasgow, on September 7, the day Milne Management security staff began their contract.

The following night, the digger was wrecked on the land which will be home to 8000 athletes and officials in 2014.

Before the attack, Gard security staff told contractors VHE Construction that they would provide protection.

Milne Management had alerted police to Gard's approach.

Last year, Glasgow City Council launched a crackdown on firms with gangland links from cashing in on the Games.

They acted after the Sunday Mail revealed that Gard were receiving taxpayers' money to protect the National Indoor Arena and National Velodrome in the city.

Faulds, 60, was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow in 1986 of drug dealing and sentenced to 30 months in prison.

His brother Robert, 59, a co-director in another security firm, also has a series of convictions.

Their cousin is George Redmond, Labour councillor for the city's Calton.

The council put the athletes' village security contract out to tender with an August 31 deadline.

To become an approved contractor, firms must meet a list of strict criteria, including that bosses are "fit and proper".

Most firms with links to organised crime have been unable to gain approved contractor status.

But that didn't stop Gard from trying to bypass the official process and win the work by turning up on site.

Leeds-based VHE, who are being paid £5.9million to clear the site, told them they could not hire them because the decision was being taken by the council.

The sprawling piece of derelict land will eventually have 700 homes and related accommodation for athletes and officials.

After the Games, the homes will be sold and rented as affordable housing to locals.

Despite our revelations last year, Gard still have the security contract for the National Indoor Arena and National Velodrome.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said: "We received a report of a wilful fireraising of plant equipment. Inquiries are continuing. No one has been arrested at this time."

And a police source said: "This incident is known about at the highest levels of the force because of massive political interest in the situation.

Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill and the powers that be in Glasgow City Chambers have made it quite clear that gangsterism should not taint the Games."

Last night, Faulds said: "We had nothing to do with that fire. I've offered to speak to the police about this fire. I've got nothing to fear.

"The police know me and they know I've got no involvement with criminal activity. I'm snow white."

Milne bosses have written to local MSP Frank McAveety urging him to help. He said yesterday: "I will be raising this matter with the authorities to ensure there is no repetition of this type of incident. This is too important a site for the east end of Glasgow to be jeopardised."

And a city council spokesman said: "The National Indoor Arena and National Velodrome security contract was awarded before the introduction of the requirment that 2014 security companies should be SIA approved contractors.

"We have since introduced a new process which makes it far less likely that firms who are not run by the appropriate type of people would be able to get work.

"We are working closely with Strathclyde Police who have made it clear they will no longer put up with this sort of thing."

Cops name and shame to save taxpayers' money

Police are stepping up efforts to stop gangland firms getting taxpayers' cash.

Strathclyde, led by Chief Constable Steven House  are to share intelligence on criminal-run firms with council and health bosses.

It's a bid to prevent firms fronted by apparently respectable businessmen getting licences or contracts if they are linked to the underworld.

Detective Superintendent John McSporran, of special operations, said: "Often it is major figures in organised crime behind these companies.

"We're now sharing information to block these people getting any public money. We're basing it on clear evidence of association with organised crime."

Now, councils can contact police for background checks on firms.

The move comes after the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce urged NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde not to give a £2million contract to Network Private Hire.

Network, who deny criminal links, were exposed by the Mail when their Glasgow offices were raided in a money-laundering probe into the McGovern crime clan.

See also:
Gangland turf war link to car bomb bid
Triads becoming more active in Glasgow?
Scotland the 'most dangerous' country - UN Report

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