Hotcha, the Bristol-based Chinese takeaway operator, has ceased trading following an investigation into tax fraud and money laundering.

Hotcha operated 13 licensed leasehold takeaway outlets in the M4 corridor with its head office in Bristol used as a warehouse central kitchen and group administration function.

Arron Kendall and Simon Thomas from Moorfields have been appointed as joint administrators of Hotcha Ltd and Hotcha Group Ltd.

The administrators said the business had ceased to trade and made all 145 staff redundant prior to their appointment, following an investigation by HMRC.

Moorfields is currently marketing the business and assets for sale with a deadline of 30 October.

The closure followed an investigation by HMRC into a suspected £35m tax fraud and money laundering.

More than 80 officers from HMRC searched three private and 12 business addresses in Bath, Bournemouth, Bristol, Berkshire, Exeter, Stroud, Swindon and Yate on 4 October.

Seven men and three women were arrested and computers and business records were also seized during the operation.

Those arrested were interviewed by HMRC and released under investigation. The investigation remains ongoing.

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