North East Wales

Ex-golfer Duncan Evans' Portugal arrest over £20m fraud bill

Duncan Evans
Image caption Evans, pictured here at BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in 1980, has been detained in Portugal

A former Welsh champion amateur golfer has been arrested in Portugal after fleeing Britain to avoid a 10-year prison sentence.

Duncan Evans, 58, who won the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award in 1980, was jailed in 2009 for his involvement in a £20m VAT tax fraud.

Last year Evans, of St Asaph, was ordered to pay his fraudulent earnings back or face jail.

He went on the run but has since been arrested in the Algarve.

Previous court hearings were told Evans was involved in a scam using money from organised crime in Hong Kong to buy property in the north west of England.

'Face justice'

As part of the transactions, more than £21m in VAT refunds were claimed illegally from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The court heard Evans had lived a lavish lifestyle, buying a £200,000 Rolls-Royce and had a £3.5m home in Cheshire.

A judge had described Evans as a "devious and accomplished fraudster".

The Portuguese authorities confirmed Evans was arrested in the Algarve after playing a round of golf.

He has been remanded in custody as extradition proceedings continue.

A spokeswoman for HM Revenue and Customs said: "HMRC and the Crown Prosecution Service are aware that Duncan Evans has been arrested in Portugal following the issue of a European arrest warrant".

"We routinely work with our international partners to tackle cases of tax fraud and always look to bring tax fugitives back to the UK to face justice."

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