Algarve “golf champion” arrested mid-game over alleged €20 million tax fraud

After the flurry of news yesterday over a seven-year-old missing in ‘Madeleine McCann’ territory Praia da Luz, tabloids today report that a Welsh “golfing champion” has been arrested by PJ police “in the middle of the fairway” at Quinta do Lago on an international arrest warrant relating to tax fraud and money laundering of “over €20 million”.

Duncan Evans, 57, has already served time for his purportedly leading role in a €3.5 million VAT scam in UK.

His four year jail sentence was delivered by crown court judges in Manchester in 2009.

In 2010, a British news report claims he lost his appeal against a reduction of the sentence, though “career fraudster” Leslie Cairns succeeded.

The report claimed the two men went back to when both “were serving separate sentences for fraud” in 2003.

Evans, voted BBC Sporting Personality of the year in 1980 – and the first person from Wales to win the Walker Cup amateur championship – never turned professional and certainly in Portugal is not considered the “golfing champion” that tabloids are describing this morning.

The details of his fairway arrest appear to be related to his non-payment of a £19.6 million compensation order.

In Manchester Evening News’ report of the 2009 trial there is no mention of an order to pay compensation.

The court was told how Evans was the mastermind in the scam that centered on buying goods from other countries and then claiming “huge sums of VAT that were never liable or paid”.

A spokesman for HM Revenue and Customs, was quoted as telling journalists: “This case shows our determination to pursue the ill-gotten gains of criminals who are relentless in living a life of crime.

“Organised crime groups will stop at nothing in their bid to build vast portfolios of cash, properties, performance cars and other luxury items at the expense of the British taxpayer.

A confiscation hearing was set for May 14 2011 while “assets of more than £5 million” were apparently seized.

It is not clear at what stage after this last court case that Evans arrived in Portugal, nor indeed how much of the four-year prison sentence he served.

A report in the Guardian back in 2005 suggest Evans had “fled to Spain”, so it is unclear whether he was even in the ‘dock’ during the 2009 ruling.

According to national tabloids this morning, Evans has been “living in luxurious Quinta do Lago” for some time.

Certainly he has been free to upload golf tip clips onto Youtube for the last few years (see image above and click here) in which he appears to be selling advice on how to sink a put.

Putting now though sounds a long way from Evans’ list of priorities as he is described as “being held awaiting extradition to the United Kingdom”.

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