A HEMSWORTH cab company boss who has been arrested in France is the 'victim of unfortunate circumstances' according to his colleague.
Malcolm Tingey, the owner of 001 Cars and Minibuses on Cross Hill, was travelling on a coach belonging to South Elmsall firm Clarksons Coaches when he was arrested.
The vehicle was impounded after Mr Tingey, of Woodmoor Road, Hemsworth, was taken into custody in Calais on Tuesday, September 30. He is yet to be released.
The reason for his arrest is unknown and no charges have been brought against him.
Ken Mercer, the manager of 001 Cars and Minibuses, said police had also searched the cab company’s offices last Wednesday, but found nothing.
He said of Mr Tingey: “There’s nothing to be worried about because he’s done nothing wrong.
“Everyone knows he is a hardworking businessman. He’s well liked and known by everyone in the area.
“We are struggling to find out anything about what has happened. There are rumours going around the village which are false and have been blown out of proportion. It’s very frightening for us.
“The office was searched by police but nothing was found, and nothing ever will be. Malcolm would not be involved in anything illegal. He has been a victim of unfortunate circumstances.”
A spokesman for Clarksons Coaches, based on Doncaster Road, said he did not know when the bus would be released by the French authorities. He said it had been holidaymakers from a third party holiday company.
He said: “The loss of the coach has cost the company 6,000. We have had to rent another vehicle because we still need to take people on holiday.
“We sent a driver and assistant from our company on the trip. We we were only told that Malcolm had replaced the assistant, without our knowledge, when we heard of the arrest.”
He said Mr Tingey was not a Clarksons employee.
The Foreign Office confirmed the arrest but would not state the reasons for it. They said Mr Tingey’s next of kin had been informed.
l Were you on board the coach when it was seized? If so, the Express would like to hear from you. E-mail lisa.obrien@ywng. co.uk or telephone 01977 642214.