A CLAIM that convicted criminal Rafat Rizvi is owed over £200,000 for services alleged to have been provided by Rangers over six years ago is to head to the courtroom.

A Singaporean firm originally raised an action at Glasgow Sheriff Court in 2013 after claiming they were due payments amounting to £400,000.

Orlit Enterprises allegedly enlisted to find Far East investors to effectively fund Charles Green’s 2012 buyout of the club.

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Now it has been confirmed initial proceedings in the civil claim for £200,000, plus interest and expenses, are to be held at Glasgow Sheriff Court from June 12 to 14.

It has been confirmed it relates to services which Orlit claims were provided by Mr Rizvi.

The Rangers board said it believes the claim is "without merit and is vigorously defending the proceedings".

Evening Times:

It is expected that the court will hear the evidence of both parties before deciding any legal questions which may have to be resolved in order to make a final decision in the case.

At the time the case first surfaced, when the club was owned by a consortium headed by Charles Green, the matter was brushed off while the club faced the prospect of a winding up order over the disputed bill.

In a statement at the time Rangers said they were disputing the invoice. It said: "not all of the invoices submitted with regard to this bill are legitimate."

Rizvi's role in proceedings raised controversy as he was wanted in Indonesia over a conviction for banking crimes.

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UK-born Rizvi was sentenced in Indonesia to a 15-year jail term in absentia and a £775,000 fine for 'stealing assets' following the collapse of the country's Century Bank in 2009. At one point he faced the possibility of a death penalty.

An initial debt is said to have arisen over services supplied by Orlit, who were said to have been hired to find Far East investors to effectively fund Charles Green’s buyout of the club in 2012.

Indonesia's government claimed they contacted Rangers in September, 2014, in a bid to stop them dealing with Mr Rizvi who had been photographed leaving a Glasgow restaurant with bus company owner Sandy Easdale, the former Rangers director who remains one of the club's biggest individual shareholders.

At the time the club denied any link with Mr Rizvi who was then wanted by Interpol.

Mr Easdale along with directors Derek Llambias and Barry Leach, said to be sympathetic to then major shareholder Mike Ashley, the Sports Direct supremo, were ousted from the board in 2015 when Dave King and his Three Bears group mounted a takeover.

Evening Times:

Four of the Rangers board before the Dave King takeover. From left, Derek Llambias, Sandy Easdale, Barry Easdale and James Easdale

Indonesia’s deputy attorney general, Andhi Nirwanto, said at the time: “We’ve already approached this club to tell them our views on the matter.”

The country then made a fresh plea to Interpol’s HQ in France to arrest Rizvi and take him home to face justice.

Attorney General Basrief Arief said at the time: “We have filed a new request to Interpol to hunt down the fugitive Rafat Rizvi after reports he was involved in buying a Scottish football club, Rangers FC.

“We beg Interpol to look for him and bring him back to our homeland in order to accept his sentence.”

Indonesia does not have a extradition treaty with the UK, which meant Rizvi was safe here.

Interpol cancelled an international wanted persons' alert over Rizvi in 2015.

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Orlit Enterprises is run by Chan Fook Meng, a one-time business associate of former Rangers chief executive Charles Green.

In a 2013 statement, Rangers did concede that they owed Orlit money, but claimed the requested amount was incorrect. The statement read: “Rangers have agreed a figure to settle this issue and it is a figure which is significantly less than the initial demand.”

A February, 2013 blog by Cheshire-based MLP Law claimed that it helped Orlit Enterprises "resolve" its business dispute with Rangers.

It says the dispute centres around non payment of invoices owed by Rangers to Orlit who were contracted by Rangers in 2012, to "source investors to provide capital to prevent the football club going into administration".

"Investment was found and the assets of the club were bought by the Charles Green consortium," says the MLP Law blog.

"Rangers have now agreed to settle what the club described as an ‘insignificant’ debt, saying it did not dispute money was owed, however it felt that not all of the invoices were legitimate."

The alleged connection to Mr Rizvi came to light as it was revealed there was a possibility of Rangers being purchased by an associated of Malaysian businessman Datuk Faizoull Bin Ahmad. He and two associates were given a tour of Ibrox and Rangers’ training base at Murray Park in September, 2014.

Mr Bin Ahmad denied that he knew anything of Rizfi and said: “I have no idea who he is. The report claiming I know Rizvi is false.”

The Union of Fans - the umbrella group for disaffected supporters, many of whom boycotted season-ticket purchases - demanded that the Rangers plc board remove Mr Easdale from any responsibility within the club because of the Rizvi link.