NINE people have appeared in court charged over their alleged involvement in a £9m money laundering ring.

They are accused of having set up companies and bank accounts, using the accounts to launder millions of pounds in criminal funds between July 2014 and September 2015.

The seven men and two women appeared before Swindon Magistrates Court on Wednesday, where they were granted bail until a hearing before a judge at Swindon Crown Court on January 4 next year.

None of the defendants submitted a plea to the money laundering charges.

The defendants are: Gino Helvacioglu, 22, of Plymouth Street, Kristian King, 24, of Baillie Close, Tadpole Garden Village, Celia Mazzotta, 74, of Shrivenham Road, Hayriye Mazzotta, 26, of Beckhampton Street, Vahit Oktar, 56, of Collett Avenue, Adam Phelps, 24, of Commercial Road, Joshua Pinsent, 25, of Rutland Road, Daniel Rice, 28, of Granica Close, Daniel Ricketts, 26, of Marbeck Close.

One of the defendants, Vahit Oktar, was specifically charged with setting up a company - V&O Foods - and opening a bank account with Santander as part of the alleged money laundering plans.