Three held over ‘£2m fraud’ with racing link

THREE people have been arrested on suspicion of a £2.4m VAT fraud connected to the horse racing industry.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) criminal investigators made the arrests at homes in Essex and in Buckinghamshire. Two business premises were also searched.

A 63-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman were arrested at a residential address near Braintree, an HMRC spokeswoman confirmed.

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A second man aged 64 was arrested at a residential address in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.

The suspects are being questioned in relation to fraud by false representation, cheating the public revenue and money laundering.

The HMRC’s assistant director for criminal investigation, Paul Barton, said: “Tackling tax fraud is a key priority for HMRC and we will not hesitate to investigate those suspected of stealing public funds.”

It is understood one of the premises which was raided was the Great Leighs racecourse, near Braintree.

The all-weather course opened in 2008 but last saw action in 2009.