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Wanted tax fugitive hires new lawyer from behind bars

One of Britain's most wanted tax fugitives has appointed a new legal team including Scottish lawyer Aamer Anwar.

Michael Voudouri had pleaded guilty at the High Court in Glasgow in relation to money laundering linked to VAT fraud but failed to appear for sentencing last March.

HM Revenue & Customs said he is estimated to have cost taxpayers £10 million.

He has been in custody since January in Nicosia Prison, Northern Cyprus, where Mr Anwar visited him today.

Mr Anwar said: "Mr Voudouri pled guilty to a 'Tax Fraud' of £10.3 million in October 2012 at the High Court. He was initially charged with laundering £48.3 million and was due to be sentenced in November 2012 but failed to attend at the High Court in Glasgow.

"Mr Voudouri has been in custody in Nicosia since January this year and has asked me to state that if he is released from custody then he intends to return to Scotland voluntarily to fight his case and has appointed a new legal team to do so.

"Mr Voudouri has raised serious allegations of corruption and criminality which he wishes investigated however as proceedings are still live it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.

"A further hearing is scheduled on the April 22 at Nicosia Court to decide the outcome of his case in Northern Cyprus."

Voudouri was on a list of most wanted tax fugitives published by the UK Government last August.

An arrest warrant was issued after he failed to appear at the High Court in Edinburgh for sentencing last year.

His associates Richard Housley and Caroline Laing were jailed for four years and two and a half years respectively.

ends

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