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Danish IT chief 'on the run', suspected of fraud

Mystery over brutal attack on business partner

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Interpol is seeking the missing boss of a bankrupt Danish IBM reseller IT Factory, who is suspected of frauds totalling $85m.

Local police are also investigating a brutal attack on a reported business partner of Stein Bagger days before his disappearance.

Danish daily Berlingske Tidende reports that Bagger left his wife last Thursday during a combined business and leisure trip to Dubai.

The saga is gripping Denmark. Bagger was known as one of its most charismatic business figures, who had presided over spectacular turnaround and growth of IT Factory. According to Computerworld Denmark it reported doubling of revenue and profits for each of the past three years.

Now financial authorities are investigating claims that success was based on fraud. On the same day Bagger disappeared, IT Factory chairman Asger Jensby applied to declare the company bankrupt, saying his signature had been forged on contracts.

As the scandal escalated, it emerged that on Monday last week, a man who claimed to own 50 per cent of Agios United SA, a Bagger company registered in Polynesia, was assaulted outside his home. "He was beaten with a blunt instrument, but we do not know what it exactly was," Nordsjællands police spokesman Henning Svendsen told the local newspaper.

Danish news sources are not reporting the identity of the victim, who was hospitalised and received 25 stitches. Bagger flew to Dubai the day following the assault.

Berlingske Tidende reports the Bagger family said: "We will not comment on commercial issues related to IT Factory and Stein Bagger's activities, which we have no knowledge of."

Bagger has not been charged with any crime. ®

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