The City of London Police, operating in its role as National Policing Lead for Fraud, has yesterday, April 29th arrested a currency trader as part of an ongoing investigation into a suspected Ponzi fraud worth tens of millions of pounds.
So far 375 people from across the UK and around the World (including 33 from Thailand and 17 from Australia) have come forward with complaints about the investment scheme, with one consortium having handed over £4 million and another individual putting in £830,000.
The suspected Ponzi fraud first came to light in December 2014 when the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau identified linkages between 70 Action Fraud reports with a value of approximately £10 million, triggering a referral to Humberside Police.
Over the Christmas period the scale of the alleged fraud continued to increase and after making initial enquiries Humberside Police met with the City of London Police and agreed that the case should be passed on to the Square Mile-based force, where it could draw up upon its experience and expertise in investigating major fraud cases with a high number of victims.
The City of London Police also has the advantage of hosting Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which has the ability to analyse thousands of reports of fraud each day.
The intelligence gathered forms the basis of crime reports sent to UK police forces for investigation and fraud alerts sent to public and private sector partners, and is also used to recommend disruption activity against fraudulent bank accounts, phone lines and websites.
Ponzi schemes typically offer investors high and regular returns on their initial investment and bonuses if they help persuade other people to join the scheme. In reality their money is usually being spent paying back early investors, covering business costs and funding big spending on luxury items by those running the Ponzi.
Detective Inspector Nigel Howard, who is leading the investigation for the City of London Police, said: “As the National Policing Lead for Fraud we are well placed to lead investigations of this nature and scale, drawing on the experience, expertise and resources within the force and the relationships we have in place with national fraud agencies and UK police forces.
“We now urge anyone who believes they have fallen victim to an investment fraud, both in the Humberside region and across the UK, to report to Action Fraud.”
To view the official release from City of London Police, click here.