Patel properties raided in VAT fraud investigation

Police have raided premises belonging to Preston property investors, the Patel brothers, during an anti-VAT fraud and counterfeit goods operation.

Arif, Faisal and Munaf Patel own significant property interests in Preston city centre, having amassed a £10om fortune in textiles. Their property portfolio is said to be worth £42m.

Around a dozen properties were searched, including the main office of the Patel's Faisaltex firm, during the HM Revenue & Customs' Operation Mimosa. Fifteen people were arrested. Following the raid, police said they had taken "enormous" amounts of documents, counterfeit goods, computers and money from the properties.

The Patels are currently vying to raise the value of a key Preston city centre site by seeking planning permission for a £100m tower on land reserved for Grosvenor/Lend Lease's Tithebarn retail-led scheme.

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