Stagecoach co-founder Dame Ann Gloag “strongly disputes the malicious allegations” made against her after being charged with human trafficking offences.

A spokesperson for the bus company tycoon said she would “vigorously defender herself” as well as her family and the charitable foundation she established.

It comes after police confirmed four people have been charged following an investigation into alleged human trafficking and immigration offences.

READ MORE: Scots bus tycoon Dame Ann Gloag charged over alleged human trafficking offences

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “On January 19 2023, four individuals were charged in connection with an investigation into alleged human trafficking and immigration offences.

“A report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”

A spokesperson for Dame Ann, 80, said: “Whilst we cannot comment on the details of an ongoing investigation, Dame Ann Gloag strongly disputes the malicious allegations that have been made against her, her foundation and members of her family, and will vigorously defend herself and the work of her foundation to protect her legacy and continue her work helping thousands of people in the UK and abroad every year.”

Dame Ann co-founded the Stagecoach bus company in 1980, with her brother Brian Souter, and was made a dame for her business and charity work.

The company is the UK’s biggest bus and coach operator, and is now managed by DWS Infrastructure.

The Gloag Foundation is a charitable trust set up by Dame Ann, which works to support projects that “prevent or relieve poverty and encourage the advancement of education, health and religion in the UK and overseas”, according to its website.