Company convicted for "cheat-switch" effluent fraud

A Scottish company has been prosecuted successfully for a serious fraud which cost Lothian Regional Council an estimated £25,000 in lost trade effluent charges alone. But the council's patient detective work was frustrated once again by the Scottish legal system which failed to bring home to the court the gravity of the offence.

Officers from the council's water and drainage department became suspicions about the activities at Pure Malt Products' Kirkliston site, near Edinburgh, during a weekend visit to the works when they noticed that an effluent volume recorder was not operating even though effluent was being discharged to sewer.

On subsequent visits during office hours the recorder was found to be working normally. The findings prompted an investigation which

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