The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is investigating suspected fraud and money laundering in relation to the conduct of business by the purchaser of two major Pembrokeshire hotels.

The investigation relates to Gavin Woodhouse and individuals and companies associated with him, with the conduct under the spotlight referring to investments offered in care homes and hotels between 2013 and 2019.

In 2017, the Fourcroft Hotel in Tenby and the Fishguard Bay Hotel were amongst several in Wales bought by Northern Powerhouse Developments, which was headed by Woodhouse.

He encouraged investors to pay thousands of pounds for individual rooms in the hotels, on the understanding their investment would pay for refurbishment - but with the promise of an annual return of 10 per cent and the chance to sell the room back at a profit after a decade.

By 2019, administrators had taken over the running of the hotels, which were then closed in March 2020 at the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Both have subsequently been advertised for sale.

The SFO has asked UK-based investors into the suspected fraudulent schemes to complete a questionnaire by 30 September 2021. The information provided will help the SFO to establish the circumstances of the investments offered, to identify and pursue new information, and to progress the investigation as quickly as possible.

A spokesman for the SEO said: "As this is a live investigation, the SFO can provide no further comment at this time."

He stated that the organisation, "fights complex financial crime, delivers justice for victims and protects the UK public and country from economic harm.

"We investigate and prosecute the most serious or complex cases of fraud, bribery and corruption. We also recover the proceeds of crime worldwide and assist international partners with their investigations, for which the Proceeds of Crime and International Assistance Division takes responsibility.

"Under director Lisa Osofsky, we have secured convictions against 21 individuals and companies, recovered over £1 billion of illicit gains, and secured eight agreements with companies including Serco, G4S and Airbus, compelling them to pay penalties and reform to prevent future law-breaking."