Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register to get unlimited access to Citywire’s fund manager database. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

Police arrest 13 people linked to £2.8m investment scam

Police arrest 13 people linked to £2.8m investment scam

The City of London Police have arrested 13 people in relation to a multi-million investment scam.

Earlier this morning, a nationwide fraud operation with 120 police officers across England arrested the men on suspicion of defraud and money laundering.

The gang behind the alleged fraud is believed to have run four boiler rooms, cold-calling people to sell them investments in gold leasing and airtime minutes in mobile phone operators through fraudulent companies called Demmore Ltd, Simply Airtime, S+E Future and Vodacell.

Following information from BBC Radio 4 programme ‘You and Yours’ detectives traced the suspects arrested today through bank accounts believed to have been set-up by the gang to receive and launder the stolen funds, most of which has either been withdrawn in cash or transferred overseas.

The City of London police said more than 100 people had fallen for the scam with losses of £2.8 million.

The men have been taken to local police stations for questioning, with a number of business documents and mobile phones siezed.

Teresa Russell, detective inspector for the City of London Police, said: ‘Disrupting and apprehending organised crime gangs running investment frauds in both the UK and overseas continues to be a major priority for City of London Police.

‘Victims were cold-called by this gang to invest their money in gold leasing and airtime, on the promise of quick and large returns. The stark contrast is that these investment schemes appear to be scams and we suspect those arrested as part of today’s police operation laundered the missing millions for their own or others benefit,’ she said.

In the past few years, the City of London Police has investigated investment frauds involving shares, carbon credits, land, diamonds and gold that have taken hundreds of millions of pounds from tens of thousands of victims.

In February an international operation involving Spanish, American and Serbian police saw 110 suspects arrested across Europe and North America and criminal assets seized worth £500,000.

Detective chief superintendent Dave Clark, who heads up the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate, said: 'As the national policing Lead for fraud we specialise in major and complex operations involving organised crime gangs running multi-million pound investment frauds.

'Thanks to the support of nine police forces our investigation into these fraudulent companies has taken a significant step forward and investors around the UK are that little bit safer.'

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play Biotech Growth: we will ride out this storm

Biotech Growth: we will ride out this storm

Geoffrey Hsu of Biotech Growth Trust says the sell-off in biotechnology stocks represents a buying opportunity for long-term investors.

Play Sector Spotlight: Kleinwort Benson's Choukeir on UK equities

Sector Spotlight: Kleinwort Benson's Choukeir on UK equities

In our first Sector Spotlight of the year we explore UK equities on the back of the extreme market turbulence in 2016.

Play Picton: the UK property hotspots for rental income

Picton: the UK property hotspots for rental income

Picton Property Income CEO Michael Morris reveals how he is planning to ride the ‘ripple effect’ as UK economic growth spills out from the capital across the country.

Your Business: Cover Star Club

Profile: PortfolioMetrix is on a mission to kill 'Frankenstein' systems

Profile: PortfolioMetrix is on a mission to kill 'Frankenstein' systems

In a buyers’ market for off-the-peg discretionary management, self-funded start-ups begin at an inherent disadvantage

Wealth Manager on Twitter