Scotland

Five people charged over £12m money laundering and VAT fraud

Five people have been charged in connection with alleged money laundering and VAT fraud worth £12m.

The four men and a woman, from Bathgate, Cambuslang and Giffnock, are aged between 34 and 61.

The arrests were part of an ongoing investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Police Scotland.

All five were subsequently charged and a police spokesman said a report would now be submitted to the procurator fiscal.

Det Insp Gordon Burns, of Police Scotland, 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."

Joe Hendry, 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.

"HMRC will continue to pursue criminals who attack the tax system and we ask anyone with information about suspected fraud to report it to HMRC online."

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