A businessman who says he was maliciously prosecuted has accused police and prosecutors in court of lying to a sheriff during a doomed money-laundering probe.

Eddie Ramsay,74, told appeal sheriffs yesterday that detectives and crown lawyers didn’t act honestly when his Edinburgh cheque cashing firm was investigated for alleged illegality.

Mr Ramsay told the Sheriff Appeal Court that proceedings should be held into whether “corruption is rife” within Police Scotland and the country’s prosecution service.

Mr Ramsay’s business Clear A Cheque was at the centre of a money laundering investigation in 2014.

Dozens of police officers seized files, computers and vehicles from the firm’s head office in Tollcross, Edinburgh, and his home in East Lothian.

Law enforcement officials believed that £350 million of cash was laundered through the firm. However, the investigation was later dropped and nobody was prosecuted.

Mr Ramsay then launched an action against Police Scotland and the Crown Office, saying he was subjected to a malicious prosecution and required £15 million compensation.

But he lost his action after a sheriff concluded the matter could not proceed.

Mr Ramsay says the sheriff who decided the case against him didn’t have the correct documentation before him when making his decision.

He says the matter has been wrongly decided and has gone to the Sheriff Appeal Court in a bid to overturn the earlier decision.

Yesterday, Mr Ramsay personally addressed the Sheriff Appeal Court and claimed that law enforcement officials had told lies to obtain the search warrant.

READ MORE: ClearACheque boss Eddie Ramsay sues Lord Advocate and Chief Constable for £15m in malicious prosecution claim

He said: “The defenders have admitted they lied to the sheriff at Edinburgh that they required a search warrant to obtain material of a money-laundering offence committed by the pursuer and the appellant.

“The defenders have given written admissions that the pursuer and the appellant did not launder £60 million in proceeds of crime and there were no known serious criminals involved.

“The defenders’ admissions clearly show an oblique motive for their actions, the pursuit of the pursuer and appellant was malicious and they took the parameters for their search... set out in the warrant to mean they could do what they liked, rather than what they were authorised by the said warrant.

“If the country is to have confidence in the judiciary and the entire legal system, justice must be seen to be served and the only way possible is for this appeal to be granted and a proof set to establish if corruption is rife within Police Scotland and the fiscal’s office which is tainting the judiciary or simply has the system got lazy and standards have dropped, allowing incompetency to set in.”

Mr Ramsay ran Clear A Cheque with family members, and was said to have cashed thousands of cheques each week and exchanged foreign currency.

Mr Ramsay, who has also owned betting shops, was detained for five hours in a cell and charged in August, 2014 in relation to the alleged scheme.

However, in May 2019, he was informed by a Crown Office official that no further action would be taken against him. Mr Ramsay said that at the time of the raids, both the police and the Crown Office didn’t have any evidence to show he was engaged in wrong doing.

He said no cash was found or confiscated and he said he was subjected to “torturous mental and physical anguish”. He claims his reputation was in tatters as a result of the investigation and that Clear A Cheque went into liquidation.

Mr Ramsay also told the Herald that police reckoned he was a friend of gangster Paul Ferris, which he denies.

READ MORE: Scots policing levels drop to lowest level for 14 years

He said he has met Mr Ferris, who was an enforcer for Glasgow “Godfather” Arthur Thompson in the early 1980s, eight or nine times but never “went about with him”.

He and business colleagues were personal guests of Mr Ferris at the Glasgow première of The Wee Man, a 2013 film about the criminal’s life directed by Ray Burdis and starring Martin Compston and John Hannah.

Mr Ramsay also told the court that the original sheriff didn’t properly understand the nature of the action brought before the court. He said this incorrect information was used by the Crown to justify their argument that the action shouldn’t proceed due to it not passing legal tests about it being brought in time.

In civil actions in Scotland, the law states that proceedings should be brought within five years.

Mr Ramsay said: “The sheriff was wrong in his opinion of what the action related to.

“The Sheriff based this opinion on the false narrative submitted by the second defender to justify their abhorrent defence of prescription.

“It appears that all one has to do is to plead prescription and invent a date outwith the five year period and there you have it, case dismissed. There is no justification for the sheriff to accept that the prescription period began when the search warrant was issued.”

Police Scotland’s advocate Paul Harvey told the court that his clients denied any wrongdoing and that the force had received credible intelligence that the business was at the centre of illegality.

Sheriff Alistair Noble dismissed Mr Ramsay’s action in January 2022 following proceedings at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Sheriff Noble upheld a submission made by Crown Office lawyers that Mr Ramsay did not bring the action within a five year time period. Sheriff Noble also concluded that Mr Ramsay failed to provide adequate information and detail about his alleged losses in his case to allow it to progress.

Legal papers lodged by Mr Ramsay claim that Sheriff Noble made his decision to dismiss the action based on him having an incorrect set of legal papers. He claims this meant that the decision made by Sheriff Noble wasn’t lawful.

Both Police Scotland and the Crown Office are contesting the appeal. Their lawyers say that Sheriff Noble had the correct paperwork and that the appeal should be rejected. Appeal Sheriffs Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull, Harry Small and Robert Fife will issue their opinion sometime in the near future.