Arrests in Alexander Inglis & Son grain business probe

Four people have been arrested in relation to the collapse in 2021 of Scottish grain merchant Alexander Inglis & Son. 

Responding to an inquiry from Farmers Weekly about the business, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Three men aged 48, 49 and 75 years, and a 76-year-old woman have been arrested in connection with a fraud following a police enquiry relating to a business registered in the Ormiston area of East Lothian.

“A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

Administrators were appointed in May 2021 at Alexander Inglis & Son, with farmers making up more than a third of the 166 unsecured creditors owed more than £6m by the company, according to the initial administrators’ report published on 7 July 2021.

See also: Report reveals devastation of grain trade failure

The most recent administrators’ report (May 2023) estimates a maximum potential payout of about £600,000 for unsecured creditors, which leaves them facing receipts of less than 10p in the pound owed.

Among the farmer creditors, 23 businesses were owed more than £50,000, and their claims alone totalled £2.924m. Several were owed more than £100,000 and some more than £200,000.

Founded in 1950, the company had been run by former Scotland rugby captain Jim Aitken since 1985 and was a big supplier to the whisky and distilling industries. It owned five large grain stores across eastern Scotland and the Borders, some of which have since been sold.

Draft accounts for the year to 31 December 2020 showed a turnover of £105m.