John Holmes: understood to be one of the three people arrestedPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Former owner of Great Leighs arrested
THE founder and former owner of Great Leighs racecourse was on Tuesday night one of three people being questioned by HM Revenue and Customs criminal investigators on suspicion of being involved in an estimated £2.4 million VAT fraud connected to the horseracing industry.
John Holmes and his partner Jill Turner were understood to be two of the three people arrested in raids on residential addresses near Braintree in Essex and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. Two business premises were also searched.
HMRC declined to divulge the names of those arrested but said one man, aged 63, and a 50-year-old woman were arrested at their home near Braintree and a second man, aged 64, was arrested at an address in High Wycombe early yesterday.
A statement from HMRC said they were being questioned in relation to suspected fraud by "false representation, cheating the public revenue and money laundering".
The BHA said: "We have been informed of the arrests. We understand that none of the individuals involved is a licensed person. This is a matter for HMRC."