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Three-day remand for Voudouris in the north

Michael Voudouris as he appears on the most wanted list

WANTED fugitive Michael Voudouris was remanded for three days by a court in the north on Tuesday relating to a case of identity theft and illegal entry.

According to Turkish Cypriot media, the British Cypriot who is wanted in Scotland for tax evasion was arrested on Saturday.

If found guilty, Voudouris can expect to be expelled to Turkey where he would face extradition back to the UK.

According to Scottish news reports, British authorities are seeking to confiscate over €10m worth of his assets.

An arrest warrant for the 46-year-old was issued in 2012 after Voudouris failed to appear in an Edinburgh court to hear his sentence after pleading guilty to two cases of money laundering.

The British Cypriot had confessed in November 2012 to hiding over £10m (€12m) in accounts in Cyprus, Greece and Switzerland, collected from claiming VAT on bogus transactions. He originally faced charges of money laundering involving £45m (€54.4m), which was reduced following his confession.

Voudouris also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of hiding £1.2m (€1.5m) from the taxman.

He was released on bail but ended up skipping bail, doing a runner reportedly to the breakaway regime in the north which has no extradition treaty with Britain.

This was not the first time the British Cypriot found himself in hot water with HM Revenue and Customs, having previously been sentenced to four years in jail in 2004 on similar charges of VAT fraud totalling £3.5m (€4.2m), while in 2008 a court ordered him to return £1.3m (€1.6m) obtained illegally.

According to Scottish regional news outlet, STV News, apart from wanting him behind bars to serve a ten-year jail sentence, prosecutors are also trying to confiscate the cash he made from his crimes, targeting his home in Scotland.

Last January, the Daily Record reported that they had found the fugitive living in a four-bedroom villa near occupied Kyrenia with his wife and two daughters.

They were alerted to his escape to the breakaway regime after his 26-year-old daughter posted a photo of herself on a Cyprus beach on Facebook.

In August 2013, the paper said Voudouris had become Scotland’s top target in a new list of Britain’s most-wanted criminal tax dodgers.

 

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