A significant settlement will see hundreds of thousands of pounds seized by the Civil Recovery Unit from an East Lothian businessman linked to unpaid tax.
Goljar Singh, 44, will relinquish £600,000 under proceeds of crime legislation following an agreement with the Civil Recovery Unit (CRU) and HMRC.
In addition to the cash recovered, a further £1,000,000 was remitted from the bank accounts of businesses linked to Mr Singh.
The settlement is one of the highest ever sums of cash recovered in a single case by the Unit, which is a specialist team of solicitors and financial investigators working on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
Anne-Louise House, head of the Civil Recovery Unit, welcomed the milestone outcome and said work would continue to divert criminal assets to Scottish communities, depriving criminals of their assets, to demonstrate criminal activity does not result in profits.
She said: “This case has been an excellent example of interagency working between CRU, HMRC and Police Scotland.
“The resolution represents one of the largest cash sums recovered by the Unit. The money recovered from this individual has been transferred to the Scottish Consolidated Fund which invests money to support communities across Scotland, through the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities Programme.
“The Civil Recovery Unit works with other law enforcement agencies to identify and recover the proceeds of crime. Settlements such as this contribute to the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce’s goal of reducing the harm caused by criminal activity.”
Matters came to light in March 2021 when police gathered reports that several bank accounts connected to Mr Singh had received large cash deposits through the same Post Office over several weeks.
Alerted to the transactions, police officers began enquiries amid suspicions at a time when the country was in Covid-19 lockdown.
In May 2021, a police search of Singh’s house revealed several suitcases and bags containing more than 3,000 envelopes filled with cash.
The total sum recovered was £692,027.86. Of that amount, Singh agreed that £600,000 was recoverable property.
Laura Buchan, Procurator Fiscal for Specialist Case work, welcomed the settlement and said: “Civil recovery is a vital tool for disrupting crime in Scotland and one of the many ways we can target those who profit from crime.
“The Civil Recovery Unit has a range of powers to target unlawful profits and the work to deter and detect unlawful activity is ongoing.”
A police Scotland spokesperson said: “This is an outstanding result and underlines the value of working closely with our colleagues in the Civil Recovery Unit and HMRC.
“These investigations can be challenging and complex but with specialist teams working together, we can achieve exceptional outcomes.
“Police Scotland’s Serious and Organised Crime Financial Investigation Unit is committed to targeting individuals and companies who profit from illicit activities, and we will use all available resources to ensure this does not happen.
“We will continue to work alongside all our partners to deter, disrupt and detect those involved in crime and seek to recover any funds derived from it.”