A SUSPECTED £35m tax fraud and money laundering operation saw two Ascot residents arrested as 80 officers descended on 15 addresses.

On October 4 HMRC operatives searched three private homes and 12 business addresses in Berkshire, Bath, Bournemouth, Bristol, Exeter, Stroud, Swindon and Yate.

They arrested seven men and three women, including a 36 year-old man and 32 year-old woman from Ascot.

None of them were charged and they were all released under investigation.

Colin Spinks, assistant director for HMRC's fraud investigation service, said: “Tax fraud is often thought victimless but it isn’t; the public lose out on vital funds for essential services.

"We will continue to work with our partners to tackle this crime and ask anyone with information about this kind of activity to contact our HMRC Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Computers and business records were seized during the operation.