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Fugitive is extradited in £11m fraud case

A FUGITIVE tax fraudster has been extradited to the UK after more than 18 months on the run.

Michael Voudouri, 46, will now be sentenced over an £11.6 million VAT fraud and faces further criminal proceedings after arriving at Edinburgh Airport in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Voudouri, who is originally from Bridge of Allan, fled to Northern Cyprus in October 2012 after pleading guilty to the fraud. He was arrested at his Cypriot home in January after allegedly using a fake passport.

He has been in custody in Nicosia Prison, Northern Cyprus, and appointed a new legal team last month. His lawyer Aamer Anwar said last week that his client would voluntarily consent to the extradition after reaching an agreement to have the passport charges dropped.

Yesterday, Mr Anwar was quoted as saying Voudouri was "glad to be coming home".

David Odd, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: "Michael Voudouri made significant amounts of money from his criminal activities. He was involved in complex and organised money laundering over a long period and is now finally facing justice.

"With the help of the public we can reclaim criminal profits and get justice for the taxpayer."

Voudouri was jailed for four years in 2004 for a £3.5m VAT fraud. Four years later he was ordered to hand over £1.3m of his illegal gains.

He later admitted spiriting away the proceeds of so- called "carousel fraud" into bank accounts in Cyprus, Greece and Switzerland, but went on the run, failing to turn up for sentencing at the High Court in Glasgow, after being granted bail in 2012.

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