Published on Friday, August 17, 2012

Travel firm employee arrested following harassment claims


Police investigating an allegation of harassment have arrested an employee of travel company Mantrav International.


The man was later released on police bail.


A spokesman for Metropolitan police said: "On 31st March an allegation of harassment was received from a 30-year-old man. The decision was subsequently taken to launch an investigation and on 17th July a 72-year-old man was arrested.


"He has been bailed to return to a central London police station on September 20, pending further investigations. Enquiries are continuing."


Mantrav, which claims to be the UK's leading gay travel company, issued a statement saying the home of one of its directors had been raided by police and company computers containing details of all past and present bookings and all marketing and advertising material seized. Police refused to comment on the allegation.


Earlier this year Mantrav claimed it was the victim of a smear campaign by a former employee and founder Malcolm Hardy claimed that "internet trolls" were damaging the company's reputation online.


It had sought assistance from online reputation management company Kwikchex, but Kwikchex suspended its membership after the East Grinstead-based company failed to provide information it had requested and due to its behaviour towards a customer seeking a refund for a cancelled holiday.


Hardy has twice said he was planning to cease trading, but today he claimed he was fighting to keep the company going. "We have 273 forward bookings and we are trying very, very hard to prevent those bookings being lost or cancelled," he said.



By Linsey McNeill

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