5 people charged in £12m VAT fraud investigation
28 March 2019, 16:21
Police have arrested and charged five people as part of a probe into alleged money laundering and VAT fraud worth £12 million.
They were arrested between March 21 and 25 as part of an ongoing joint investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Police Scotland.
Those arrested were a 56-year-old man, 54-year-old woman and 34-year-old man, all from Bathgate, West Lothian, a 61-year-old man from Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, and a 47-year-old man from Giffnock, East Renfrewshire.
All five were also charged with allegedly directing or being involved with serious organised crime and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.
Detective Inspector Gordon Burns, of Police Scotland's Economic Crime and Financial Investigation Unit, said: "Money laundering and associated criminality has a damaging effect on the UK economy and impacts on organisations, communities and individuals.
"Police Scotland will robustly investigate any allegations of unlawful financial conduct and will use all available resources, working with our colleagues in HMRC, to proactively target those who seek to profit from criminality."
HMRC urged anyone with information about suspected fraud to report it to HMRC online or call its fraud hotline on 0800 788 887.
Joe Hendry, assistant director of HMRC's Fraud Investigation Service, said: "VAT fraud is not a victimless crime - it deprives us all of money that should be funding our public services."