The businessman – dubbed the Fat Controller – had at least four Mercedes minivans wrecked at base in Lanarkshire costing around £150,000
TAXI tycoon Stevie Malcolm’s motors were burnt out in a targeted attack after he wooed drivers from rival firms, insiders revealed last night.
At least four Mercedes minivans were wrecked as a fresh cab war ignited over the £50million tycoon’s recruitment drive.
And Malcolm, 53 — nicknamed ‘The Fat Controller’ — was left counting the cost of the blaze at his Penny Cars HQ in Airdrie, believed to total £150,000.
A source said: “Stevie’s been offering cabbies deals nobody else can match to come and work for him.
“He’s bought advertising boards in Airdrie and Coatbridge — big signs saying ‘Drivers wanted’. At least 100 cars have moved to him over the last eight months.
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“That’s worth about £26,000 a week in fees from drivers.”
The scorched silver Mercs were visible in the firm’s compound last night following the fire shortly after midnight yesterday. They were parked in a corner behind gleaming models.
The insider added: “There’s about £150,000 worth of damage.”
Penny Cars boss Malcolm snapped up Key-Cars earlier this year — a firm with close links to Steven ‘Bonzo’ Daniel, nephew of dead crime kingpin Jamie Daniel.
Bonzo, 37, was slashed and scarred for life in a horror attack in a Key-Cars Skoda in May following a high-speed chase from Possil, Glasgow.
His facial injuries were so catastrophic, cops initially feared he had been shot.
It was the latest clash in a tit-for-tat war between the rival Daniel and Lyons clans that has raged for more than a decade.
Malcolm also has an interest in Glasgow Private Hire, Paisley Cab Co and Edinburgh City Private Hire.
The golf-mad tycoon built a £9million mansion overlooking the Queen’s Course at plush Gleneagles, Perthshire, in 2008.
But he filed a £6million insurance claim last year when a 100,000 litre, 50ft fish tank exploded and swamped the kitchen, electrics and decor.
In 2010, he was revealed as the £4,000-a-month landlord of disgraced businessman Barry Hughes in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire.
Cops probing the fire said they were called at 12.15am on Saturday.
They said: “There were a number of cars found to be on fire. The incident is being treated as wilful.”
When called by The Scottish Sun on Sunday, a Penny Cars employee replied: “I’m sorry, we’ve got no comment,” before hanging up.
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