More than a dozen arrests have been made as part of a large-scale fraud investigation being led by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

On Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 June 2022, officers carried out dawn raids at properties across KentLondonEssex, and Hertfordshire.

Detectives were targeting individuals who are suspected to be involved in complex fraud, including money laundering and tax fraud. The pre-planned raids resulted in the arrests of 13 people on suspicion of Conspiracy to Cheat the Public Revenue.

• A 37-year-old man from Rochester;
• A 40-year-old man from London;
• A 33-year-old man from Sevenoaks;
• A 60-year-old man from Sevenoaks;
• A 48-year-old man from Sevenoaks;
• A 38-year-old man from Sittingbourne;
• A 31-year-old man from Gravesend;
• A 41-year-old man from Hertfordshire;
• A 38-year-old man from Sevenoaks;
• A 50-year-old woman from Staplehurst;
• A 32-year-old man from Essex;
• A 41-year-old man from Sidcup;
• A 42-year-old man from Tonbridge.

High-value seizures

During the arrests, a number of items were seized including £150,000 in cash, 27 high-value watches, multiple pieces of expensive jewellery including a Cartier jewellery set worth around £25,000, as well as five off-road bikes and a mountain bike.

Wider investigation

This enforcement activity followed on from 28 search warrants that were carried out on 23 March 2022. They were specifically in relation to drug supply and £13.5 million worth of assets were restrained, bank accounts were frozen and the sale of property, cars and homes was prohibited.

Seventeen people were arrested at that time. Seven of those remain on police bail, whilst the other 10 have all been charged with separate offences. Eight of them were charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine.

One was charged with concealing criminal property and the tenth person was charged with fraud by false representation. Court proceedings remain ongoing.

By Ed

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