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£2.6m fraud case suspect with Beccles links believed to have fled the country

12:08 11 October 2012

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A 26-year-old who police searched for in Beccles in relation to a £2m-plus fraud case is believed to have left the country.

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Police officers from Guernsey raided a home in the town last month as part of an investigation into the alleged fraud of £2.6m.

The house was one of two raided as part of Operation Infinity, a joint investigation between the City of London and Guernsey Police into the alleged theft and laundering of public funds from the States of Guernsey.

The investigation relates to a revelation in July that the States of Guernsey’s Treasury had wrongly paid £2.6m of taxpayers’ money to a third party, after receiving a fraudulent letter claiming to be from an airport contractor.

Homes in Beccles and Dartford were raided in the early hours of September 26, however only documents and computer storage devices were removed from Beccles, and police have since admitted that they were looking for a 26-year-old.

A spokesman for Guernsey Police said: “It is believed that this individual has left the UK and enquiries are on-going to trace him.”

A third house was also expected to be raided, following a warrant obtained by Guernsey Police Commercial Fraud Department, Guernsey Border Agency and City of London Police, however this was cancelled.

Last Saturday, a 39 year old man handed himself into City of London police officers at Bishopgate Police Station.

Det Chief Insp Philip Breban, of Guernsey Police, said: “He was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and interviewed by City of London police officers. After surrendering his passport he was released on police bail, whilst investigations continue.

“As a result of his arrest and interview further lines of enquiry have been identified, which will be undertaken by both Guernsey Police and the City of London Police as we continue to work closely on this investigation.”

In Guernsey an external review is taking place into the fraud and Guernsey’s public accounts committee have said that findings will be published from its hearing, but that full details into the fraud would not be published.

It has also been claimed that a report highlighting significant weaknesses and concerns about the States’ preparedness had been completed in May but that it had not been looked at until July when the fraud became public.

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