Masons shaken as £110k vanishes
30th December 2012
Exclusive By STEPHEN MOYES
HQ ... Colchester Masonic Hall
FRAUD detectives were yesterday probing the secret world of the freemasons — over the mysterious disappearance of £110,000 in funds.
Horrified members of the shadowy society — famed for rolling up trouser legs and dodgy handshakes — called in cops after finding all its lodges in Essex were unable to pay their VAT bill.
The meeting places are run from Colchester Masonic Hall — where books are feared to have been cooked for years.
A source said last night: “Masons do not enjoy being under the spotlight — and the 800 in Essex are reeling from having to call police.
“The society is based on trust and decency.
“The idea of someone potentially fiddling the books is heresy.”
Brian Wright, spokesman for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex, confirmed: “A possibly illegal act is under investigation by police.”
The county’s force said yesterday: “The investigation into a possible fraud by abuse of position dates back six years.
“A man in his 70s has been interviewed. Inquiries are ongoing.”