Police authorities have made six arrests as part of a probe into a suspected pension scheme fraud that has conned victims out of £18 million.
The arrests come following a criminal investigation that was led by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) into a scam in which approximately 370 people were convinced to transfer money into eight pension schemes.
The regulator said that the funds of the members were passed on to firms that are linked with the suspects.
The investigation started after a number of legitimate schemes were able to receive requests from members to transfer their savings into “suspicious” schemes and eventually raised the alarm.
The TPR executive director of frontline regulation, Nicola Parish, stated: “The legitimate schemes in this case did the right thing by raising their concerns with us and stopping their members transferring out and potentially losing their life savings in what we believe to be scams.”
According to Action Fraud, the pensions industry estimates that the current loss to the United Kingdom from various pensions fraud already has a total of £600 million,
The raids were carried out at two residential properties and a business address in Essex as part of a joint operation with the police force of Essex.
Four people were questioned under caution and a further two were arrested and questioned, all on suspicion of fraud offences. The suspects were later released while the probe continues.
TPR also suspended nine people from their positions as trustees for a period of 12 months. It appointed an independent trustee to the eight schemes that are at the centre of the probe.