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Regional Fraud Team Makes First Arrest in GBC HRA Investigation

Published on: 21 Mar, 2024
Updated on: 22 Mar, 2024

By Martin Giles

The first arrest was made this morning (March 21)in connection with a police investigation into allegations of fraud in GBC’s Housing Revenue account. Contracts are said to have been overspent by £18.5 million.

It is believed that search warrants, covering three homes and six vehicles, were executed by police officers from the Regional Fraud Team within the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU).

Police were looking for computers, smart phones and data storage devices belonging to named individuals.

Unconfirmed reports have reached The Guildford Dragon NEWS that personal mobile phones and laptops belonging to GBC, still in the possession of contractors, were seized from former GBC interim officers who had their contracts terminated six months ago, in September 2023, and that further voluntary interviews with former contractors have been requested.

A spokesperson for SEROCU said: “[We] executed a number of warrants this morning (March 21). This relates to an ongoing complex investigation involving the housing maintenance service at Guildford Borough Council.

“A man aged in his 50s has been arrested in connection with this investigation, and is currently in police custody. As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to provide further details at this time.”

See also: Questions on GBC’s Fraud Investigation Remain Unanswered

A GBC spokesperson added: “This arrest comes after collaborated efforts between SEROCU, Guildford Borough Council and other key authorities.

“We continue to support the police with their ongoing investigation. We are dedicated to maintaining the integrity of our organisation and value for money for our tenants, residents and communities.”

See also: Taxpayers Money Could Have Been Saved If HRA Investigation Had Been Conducted Differently

See more articles relating to the HRA investigation here.

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