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Hand grenade found during arrest of 8 women following high-value fraud

November 14, 2014, 8:57 pm

Eight women have been arrested in a series of dawn raids across the South East of England smashing a criminal network suspected of committing a high-value fraud against a high-street retailer.

The eight women, aged between 17 and 50 years, have all been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud between December 2013 and October 2014.

All have been bailed to return to a London police station in December, pending further enquiries.

In addition, a 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis.

On Thursday, 13 November around 160 Metropolitan Police Service officers, including officers from Falcon (Fraud and Linked Crime onLine), Territorial Support Group (TSG) and the Dog Unit executed six warrants and attended seven additional addresses to arrest the suspects from an organised criminal network (OCN). The addresses were concentrated in the Kent area, with additional arrests in South and East London, and Essex.

Eight women were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud against the retailer between December 2013 to October 2014, totalling £145,000. Police recovered items and articles concerned in this fraud, included stolen clothing, along with approximately £3,000 cash.

In addition, the following items were recovered during the raids:

– Two firearms and a hand grenade – tests are currently being carried out to establish whether these are live or imitation weapons;
– A moped;
– A stab vest;
– Cultivated cannabis;
– A Mercedes ML60; and,
– A Porsche Cayenne.

Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Gould, from the Met’s Organised Crime Command, said: “The large scale of this operation demonstrates the Met’s commitment to tackling fraud and cyber-enabled crime. This is the biggest operation undertaken by Falcon since its launch in August and we look forward to doing more in the weeks and months ahead.

“Large-scale fraud undertaken by organised criminal networks hurt businesses and communities and is often used to fund other forms of criminality. Falcon is determined to tackle this crime head on.”

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