If the smart-set decide to take up the Harrods branded public telephone service planned by Harrods owner Mohammed Al Fayed and UK publicist Max Clifford (CI No 3,273), they may be getting more than they bargained for. The department store mogul, who has a central role in the UK’s parliamentary cash for questions row, has a penchant for covert surveillance, according to former deputy director of Harrods, Chris Bettermann who claims that as well as having an personal security staff of 40 staff trained in counter terrorism, Al Fayed has bugged his department stores internal phones, and his employees at home. If Fayed is prepared to take these steps when he is not at the helm of a phone operator, and merely a department store, opens up the question of what he would do if he owned a phone company. Max Clifford’s spokesman would not speculate on whether the latest Al Fayed revelation would affect the prospects of the Harrods phone venture.
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