A MAN has been charged with embezzling nearly £80,000 from an award-winning Greenock company — after being arrested in Wales.

Simon Fellows was apprehended by police in the village of Northop in Flintshire and driven 270 miles to Inverclyde.

Prosecutors say Fellows, 52, stole £79,194 from successful Inverclyde export firm PG Paper.

He is said to have helped himself to the money on March 29 in 2017 whilst working as the firm's sales manager.

The Crown says he committed the alleged embezzlement at PG Paper's HQ in the west wing of Greenock's Custom House.

PG Paper now operates in 55 countries worldwide, including China, India and South America, and in 2019 opened a sales office in New York.

Last year, the company exported more than 5,000 containers of various types of paper around the world — an 11 per cent annual increase on 2019.

Businessman Puneet Gupta, who runs the company with his wife, Poonam, was named Businessman of the Year at the annual Scottish Asian Business Awards in 2016.

A year later Poonam was awarded the OBE.

Embezzlement accused Fellows, of Maes Celyn, Northop, appeared at Greenock Sheriff Court in private on petition.

He made no plea through lawyer Ellen Macdonald.

Sheriff Michael Higgins continued the case for further examination and allowed Fellows to return to Wales on standard bail conditions.

A date for the next calling of the case is to be confirmed.