Woman arrested in Ipswich after police seize cryptocurrency linked to alleged Covid-19 fraud
PUBLISHED: 09:53 14 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:50 14 August 2020
A 35-year-old woman has been arrested in Ipswich on suspicion of fraud and money laundering after officers executed a warrant and seized £115,000 worth of cryptocurrency.
The arrest follows an investigation by detectives from the Metropolitan Police proactive money laundering team into fraudulently obtained bitcoin.
The investigation focused on mule bank accounts – used to transfer criminal cash on behalf of others – being used to receive proceeds of fraudulent applications for ‘Bounce Back Loans’ – a scheme launched by the Government to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government scheme, which allows small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, launched in May.
Met officers, assisted by Suffolk Police, searched a home in Ipswich on Wednesday.
The woman was arrested on suspicion of fraud, money laundering and child neglect. She was later released under investigation after being interviewed.
On Thursday, Met officers successfully applied to a London magistrates’ court for the detention of £115,000 of cryptocurrency.
The investigation continues.
Detective Sergeant Ian Barrett, from the Met’s proactive money laundering team, said: “I would implore people to be careful about what personal and banking information they give out online or over the phone.
“If you feel your bank account is being used by others, promptly report it to your bank and Action Fraud.
“For people to take advantage of Government support available to those who really need it in these unprecedented times is appalling.
“I would like to assure the public that the Met remain committed to working with institutions in the regulated financial sector and law enforcement partners to tackle organised financial crime and bring these serious criminals to justice.”
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