There has been shock throughout the community as properties believed to belong to one of the most respected business families in the North West were raided by police and customs officials.

Police searched Faisal House, the head office of the Faisaltex empire belonging to Arif Patel and family.

Police have arrested 11 people but have not said whether any were members of the Patel family.

This year Arif Patel - and his brothers Faisal and Munaf - were ranked 659th richest in the UK on the Sunday Times Rich List.

Faisaltex Manufacturing Ltd supplies branded clothing to discount stores such as Matalan. Arif Patel has picked up numerous high-profile business awards for his entreprenership skills and been commended at a national and international level.

Members of the local community were shocked after developments.

One man who knows the family, said, "They are a very decent family who do a lot for the community. They always go out of their way to assist people. I am shocked at all of this."

Of the ten people initially arrested three were in custody and seven have been released on part four bail.

A day after the initial raids a firm of accountants was also raided. Police and customs officials raided the offices of Hindocha and Company, in Harewood Road, Deepdale, The arrests were a joint operation between Lancashire Constabulary and HMRC into the importation of counterfeit goods and the inaccurate description or overvaluation of goods for export, which have resulted in false claims to VAT repayment.

Det Chief Supt Graham Gardner, head of Crime for Lancashire Constabulary, said: "These arrests are the culmination of an incredibly complex and time-consuming investigation between the Constabulary and our partners in HMRC.