Houses and companies have been raided in Glasgow as a part of a serious crackdown on “industrial scale” profit fraud.
Police stated Operation Arnos, which focused addresses in Govanhill, led to 16 arrests and the seizure of over 200 productions from a enterprise.
Greater than 100 officers had been joined by employees from the Division of Work and Pensions, HM Income & Customs and Residence Workplace Immigration Enforcement.
An organised crime group is behind the fraud, which could possibly be as a lot as £4.6m.
Police stated the primary part focused members of the crime gang whereas the second centered on the facilitators.
The power confirmed 14 people had been arrested on suspicion of profit fraud, mortgage fraud and cash laundering.
A girl was arrested on warrant and a person was arrested in reference to a hashish cultivation, which included a number of hundred vegetation with a possible road worth of about £200,000.
Fraudulent documentation was additionally recovered from a automobile which had been used as a cellular workplace.
Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald stated the offensive has been deliberate since late final 12 months.
She stated: “At the moment’s operation is the most important of its form since Police Scotland got here into being.
“Fairly merely it’s focusing on organised crime in one in every of our native communities right here in Govanhill.
“What we’re coping with immediately is an virtually industrial scale profit fraud, an assault on the UK advantages system by an organised crime group.”
Assistant Chief Constable MacDonald stated the group had been energetic for a while.
She added: “This gang has been working in and round Govanhill utilizing native premises and a cellular workplace to hold out quite a lot of crimes, that are undoubtedly impacting on the area people.
“Individuals have been claiming advantages to which they aren’t entitled and utilizing false IDs however this exercise has been orchestrated by people who’re reaping thousands and thousands of kilos from the advantages system whereas additionally claiming advantages themselves.
“We totally count on there will likely be extra arrests because of this operation over the approaching weeks and months.”
Officers are additionally in search of proof of individuals trafficking and unlawful immigration.
A complete of 37 premises had been visited on Wednesday and a quantity searched.
The haul of greater than 200 productions from a enterprise in Govanhill included documentation and digital units.
Officers attended a lot of addresses intending to talk to residents claiming housing profit however a number of had clearly been empty for a protracted interval.
So far about £1.5m of fraudulent profit claims have already been stopped
Bob Gallacher, senior investigations chief on the DWP, warned such a criminality is happening in cities all through the UK.
And Joe Hendry, assistant director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, stated: “That is suspected profit fraud on a large scale.
“Profit fraud is theft – it takes taxpayers’ cash from our important public companies and places it into the pockets of criminals.
“We’ll proceed working with our companions to research and cease these offences.”