A former company director was arrested on suspicion of a £500,000 fraud and laundering.

Paul Hand, 45, of Oak Dell, Crawley, is suspected of defrauding his former employer Hydraquip.

He has since left the company, which is based in Priestly Way, Crawley. It is believed Mr Hand was arrested at the offices of his employer, Rouden Pipetek, at Parsonage Way, Horsham.

There is no indication any crime was committed during Hand’s employment at Rouden Pipetek or that the company had any involvement in the alleged fraud.

He is accused of fraud by false representation, money laundering and harassment.

The harassment accusation relates to a number of text messages sent since leaving Hydraquip.

Mr Hand’s home was searched and he was released on bail until November 17 while detectives continue inquiries.

Hydraquip said that it was fully co-operating with the police investigation into Hand who had worked for the company at its Rochester office until November last year.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “A 45-year-old man from Crawley was arrested on suspicion of committing fraud by false representation and money laundering between January 1, 2008, and November 1, 2013, and harassment by sending text messages between June 23 and 25 this year in Horsham.

“He has been questioned and released on bail until November 17.”