National crackdown on fraud leads to large seizure of assets

More than £6 million of assets were seized or restrained in a month-long, national crackdown on fraud by UK crimefighters.

Operation Henhouse, a national fraud intensification campaign, saw police forces, regional organised crime units (ROCUs) and the National Crime Agency (NCA), target a variety of offences, including banking and insurance fraud, as well as money laundering and perverting the course of justice.

The month-long activity in February of this year resulted in 290 arrests and the seizure of luxury goods, such as a £96,000 BMW M5 Competition, as well as other items including Rolex watches, high-end counterfeit goods and expensive jewellery.

The seizure of cash and assets was only made possible by the painstaking investigation undertaken by many disparate agencies, including the City of London Police, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PICPU) and the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU).

Examples of the coordination between the various teams included a warrant being executed in London, with officers providing support to the Dyfed-Powys Police investigations team to arrest a suspect who is believed to have preyed on a vulnerable, elderly victim living in sheltered accommodation in West Wales.

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said that the Government is determined to crack down on fraudsters by stepping up efforts to punish them by stripping them of their ill-gotten gains.

Helen Gregory, Forensic Director at Milsted Langdon, said: “Operation Henhouse shows that investigation and co-operation can help to recover money and other assets from criminals.

“However, being accused of fraud is a very scary prospect and could have devastating consequences for the individual and/or their business.

“Proving innocence can be really challenging and, of course, not everyone caught up in a fraud investigation is guilty.

“That is why anyone in such a situation should speak to forensic accountants for the best advice and support. These experts will have years of experience in dealing with large and small fraud investigations and can help provide the courts with evidence that proves their innocence.”


Sources: National Crime Agency

Posted in The Forensic Blog.