Police have launched a fraud probe into Scotland’s national examination body after allegations of ‘financial irregularities’ involving a six-figure sum.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) confirmed officers were investigating one claim of misconduct involving funds in their latest accounts, while two other similar allegations were being dealt with internally.

It comes just a few months after senior executives at the the quango were criticised for spending more than £17,000 worth of taxpayer money on a lavish trip to Saudi Arabia.

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A Police Scotland spokeswoman confirmed the force had "received reports of possible fraudulent activities linked to a business in Glasgow".

However, she added: "The circumstances are currently being investigated and no further comment will be made until this is complete.

Details released by the Sunday Mail also revealed top executives spent public funds on trips to Dubai, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, while one exam boss charged the taxpayer for five nights in a five-star Athens hotel with his wife to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

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A line in the SQA’s annual report for 2018-19 reads: “during 2018–19, one instance of suspected financial irregularity was identified and investigated in line with SQA’s anti-fraud policy and fraud response plan”.

A spokesman for the SQA said: "A suspected case of financial irregularity has been referred to Police Scotland for investigation.

"It would be inappropriate for us to comment further."