A Glasgow MP called last night for an end to the proliferation of city sunbed parlours.

The move coincided with a council sub-committee refusing retrospective planning permission for a salon operating in Alexandra Parade, Dennistoun.

Ian Davidson, the Pollok MP, who claims many tanning studios are being used by criminals to launder money, said: ''I am very keen that the council do all it can to look at the proliferation of studios.

''They take up valuable space in shopping areas but appear to generate no jobs. Some also appear to have no customers for visible means of support.''

The call also followed Herald inquiries showing Tan Ko Ltd, which was refused planning permission yesterday, has lodged three more applications for sunbed salons in Glasgow - two in Dumbarton Road. A fourth Dumbarton Road application has been lodged by Paisley Private Hire Ltd, which is linked to Tan Ko, also Paisley-based. Steve Malcolm, 38, is a director of both, according to filed returns.

He is reputedly the largest private hire car operator in the west of Scotland after taking over Mac's Cabs two years ago from an associate known as ''The Licensee'' and said to be Scotland's richest criminal.

A steady trickle of customers came and went yesterday at the Alexandra Parade parlour, the frontage of which contravenes the local plan for Dennistoun.

Although there is no suggestion of wrongdoing, the customers were unaware of Mr Malcolm's connection to a business steeped in controversy.

MPs have alleged tanning studios, taxi firms, and even Glasgow lawyers are being used to launder money.

Mr Davidson, in the Commons last month, told of widespread suspicion that most studios in his constituency are used to launder drug and other criminal money.

In the Proceeds of Crime Bill debate, now at final stage, he said: ''Given the number in Glasgow, if members wandered down any street they would expect to be confused into thinking they were in the Caribbean.

''In fact, all they would see is peely-wally faces who obviously have been nowhere near tanning studios.

''Unless only a few people are now burned to the colour of toast and have been overdoing treatment, it means that the studios are not being used properly.''

Mr Malcolm, a Tan Ko director since July 2000, could not be contacted for reaction over being refused planning permission.

A council spokesman confirmed Tan Ko's application had failed and that the Dennistoun parlour must close or breach


The company's latest applications are for salons in a vacant butcher's shop at 1405 Dumbarton Road, an empty gift shop at 470 Dumbarton Road, and a second-floor, former second-hand furniture store in Maryhill Road.

Paisley Private Hire Ltd wants retrospective change-of-use permission for a sunbed parlour in Dumbarton Road. Tan Ko is seeking seven-day opening from early morning to 10pm.

None of the applications records even a part-time post under ''proposed numbers of people to be employed''.

Tan Ko will be able to reapply for Alexandra Parade if planning issues are resolved.