Fire fighters had to be included in a multi-agency team carrying out raids in Paisley as part of an investigation into fuel fraud.
The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) led operation on Wednesday 10 February involved officers from Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, and lead to the arrest of two men. Three domestic and one industrial premises were searched.
The enforcement activity, coordinated from the Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh, involved investigations into a number of suspected offences, including theft, fuel fraud and tax evasion; as well as breaches of National Minimum Wage and fire safety legislation.
The two men, aged 32 and 42, were arrested and officers seized material in relation to their investigation, including luxury vehicles, business records, IT equipment and firearms.
David Odd, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “HMRC has significant criminal and civil powers to disrupt criminality. Combined with the powers of our partners at the Scottish Crime Campus and agencies in the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce, we are able to take effective action to ensure nobody is acting above the law. Any organised criminal should be very concerned.”
Detective chief superintendent, Gerry McLean, Organised Crime & Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “This is an excellent example of partnership working and how Police Scotland can support other agencies in the fight against organised crime. By sharing information and working together with our partners at the Scottish Crime Campus, we are able to use a range of legislative powers to target those who choose to be involved in this type of criminality as well as making our communities safer.”
A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) takes any breach in fire safety legislation very seriously and we will continue to support Police Scotland and other partner agencies in their efforts.
“This operation highlights the importance of having the correct fire safety legislation in place. Any person who has control of premises has a responsibility to ensure that those occupying the premises are safe from harm caused by fire.”
Additional enquiries are continuing and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.