Five men have been arrested across the North West and London in an NCA investigation linked to property investment fraud and money laundering.
NCA officers arrested a 68 year-old man at an apartment in Central London on Thursday [23 Feb] morning. He is suspected of being involved in the fraud that targeted victims with promises of investment returns on North West property developments.
Would-be investors were approached to purchase apartments advertised as off plan with offers of high rates of guaranteed rental income when completed. The projects were never completed resulting in up to 100 investors being defrauded out of nearly £8 million.
A further man, aged 60, was arrested at a property in West Lancashire.
Additional searches linked to the arrests took place at two storage units in Central London and two houses in Liverpool.
Three suspected co-conspirators were also arrested on Tuesday [21 Feb] at two addresses in Chorley and one in Wigan who have all been released pending further enquiries.
As part of this complex investigation, in June 2022, the NCA arrested another two people suspected of being involved, a 38 year-old male, also living in Central London and a 61 year-old woman from Cheshire. They were also released pending further enquiries.
A number of digital devices and documentation relating to the offences have been seized.
Suzanne Foster, Branch Commander from the NCA’s Complex Financial Crime Team, said: “Fraud can be absolutely devastating for victims. In this case, we know that some people have had their whole life savings taken from them.
“This group were organised and are suspected of fraudulently making and laundering millions of pounds by relying on people’s trust.
“Tackling fraud is a priority area for the NCA and we, along with our partners, are committed to disrupting those people and groups that profit from it. This investigation continues.”
If you have fallen victim to fraud or cyber crime, report it any time at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040. In Scotland, report it to Police Scotland by calling 101.
24 February 2023