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Scottish Ambulance Service has suspended finance director Brian Roy on full pay following newspaper reports that he has served a jail term for fraud after passing off 1,130 cases of coloured water as whisky.

The reports said Mr Roy had swindled customs out of£59,000 in duty. The offence is said to have been committed in 1980 when Mr Roy was employed by Scottish and Newcastle Breweries.

The reports also claimed that Mr Roy failed to disclose the conviction when he joined Scotland's Common Services Agency. He joined Scottish Ambulance Service from the CSA.

In a statement, chair Owen Clarke said Scottish Ambulance Service was 'extremely concerned' by the reports. A confidential internal inquiry had been set up 'to establish the facts of the matter' under the leadership of non-executive director Eileen Scott. An interim report will be made to the next board meeting on 31August.