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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Tax Probe: family returns homes worth £8m and repays £368,000 rent

Properties worth a combined £8.1m have been surrendered to the National Crime Agency following a tax probe.

The properties included 16 homes in and around Bath plus a villa in Tenerife. The Bath properties included a seven bedroom converted barn and mill which on a holiday lettings website boasted an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and five bathrooms.

Also recovered was an 18th Century Georgian townhouse in Bath, which was operated as the Roman City Guest House, and a former telephone repeater station.

A Range Rover Evoque was also surrendered. 

Four members of the same family - Shane Davies, 47, his wife Rhianna, 34, mother Sheila, 66, and sister Tracey, 48 - agreed to surrender the assets, having conceded that they derived from the proceeds of unlawful conduct.

The property portfolio was acquired between 1998 and 2007. Investigations revealed that between 2004 and 2009 alone, the properties generated rental and commercial income of more than £2m.

The defendants additionally agreed to pay back £368,000 of rental income accrued from property lettings.

NCA investigators believe that the portfolio was acquired through mortgage fraud and the sale of controlled drugs.

The Davies family had claimed that the sizeable funds used to purchase the properties were the result of “gifts”. This could not be substantiated.

“This investigation has identified unlawfully-held assets worth millions of pounds. The Canary Islands holiday home and prestige vehicle represent the obvious trappings of wealth, but equally important is the recovery of numerous commercial and residential properties, which will otherwise have continued to generate substantial revenue that the defendants were not entitled to” explains Andy Lewis, NCA Head of Asset Denial.

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