Two men have been arrested for an alleged scam to claim ‘rebound loans’ from the government’s program to help small businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The prime suspect, in his 40s, is said to have recruited people to set up fake companies and fake bank accounts.
Detectives have been ordered to freeze 10 bank accounts containing a total of £ 553,305 after finding rebound loan application forms.
The suspected fraud was discovered following a routine drug search on a vehicle in Holland Park, west London on Wednesday.
Scotland Yard said the owner, a man in his 20s, had traveled to meet a man to open a bank account, for which he would be paid £ 300.
He and the second suspect were later arrested on suspicion of money laundering and fraud, and have since been released under investigation.
Detective Sergeant Neil Stanley said, “I want to assure the public that we take a zero tolerance approach to fraud-related crime of any kind within our community, and we are committed to translating the people involved in legal proceedings.
“In these unprecedented times, we have intensified our efforts to dismantle organized criminal networks and will continue to crack down on individuals who exploit government schemes for their own monetary gain. “
Officers found application forms from suspected bogus companies to their banks asking for bounce loans – set up to help small businesses – to search for a residential address in Hounslow, police said.
Metropolitan Police said: “While still in the early stages of the investigation, police believe the prime suspect recruited individuals for the sole purpose of using their details to form companies. anonymous and bank accounts, which were then used for money laundering. and facilitate fraud.