Stagecoach Group co-founder and former Manston airport owner Dame Ann Gloag has been charged in connection with a human trafficking investigation.
The 80-year-old is one of four people to be charged. The others are family members.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “On 19 January 2023, four individuals were charged in connection with an investigation into alleged human trafficking and immigration offences. A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.”
The procurator fiscal decides whether there is enough evidence to prosecute in court and it is in the public interest to do so. They also decide which court a case will be heard in.
If the procurator fiscal decides there isn’t enough evidence, they can decide not to prosecute or ask the police to find more evidence.
A spokeswoman for Dame Ann said she would vigorously defend herself against the “malicious allegations.”
The BBC reports that the allegations are believed to relate to people who were brought to Scotland as part of Dame Ann’s charity work with the Gloag Foundation. A source told the BBC that the allegations are part of a “collusion” against the family.
The Gloag Foundation supports charities including Freedom from Fistula, a charity founded by Dame Ann, helping women and children in Sierra Leone, Malawi and Madagascar.
Dame Ann and her brother Brian Souter founded the Stagecoach bus company in 1980.
She bought Manston airport in 2013 for a nominal £1 – plus associated debts – and shut it a year later, selling a majority stake to businessmen Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave who formed Stone Hill Park. It has since been bought by RiverOak Strategic Partners for £16.5m.
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