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Upminster man arrested and house raided in police probe over alleged £18m fraud at council

PUBLISHED: 17:38 06 August 2014 | UPDATED: 17:38 06 August 2014

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An Upminster man has been arrested and a house searched by police as part of a probe into allegations of a multi-million pound fraud at a council housing department.

Officers from Surrey and Sussex Police are investigating allegations of fraud at Brighton and Hove City Council executed search warrants at five addresses at 7am this morning.

Four men were arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office and corruption, a 67-year-old man at a house in Ashvale Drive, Upminster and a 51-year-old man at a house in Balfour Road, Ilford.

Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit has launched a probe into allegations of the improper awarding of council contracts worth more than £18 million over the past 10 years to a property management company providing the homeless with temporary accommodation.

A 57-year old man was also arrested at an address in Harlands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, and a 53-year old man was arrested at an address in Elms Road, London, SW4.

An address in Holland Road, Hove, was also being searched but no arrests were made there.

Detective Sergeant Sally Smith said: “The men have been taken to Brighton for interviews and further enquiries.”

Later the same morning a warrant was also executed at a business address in Queens Road, Brighton. No arrests were made.

Sussex Police said none of the men arrested today were employees of Brighton and Hove City Council.

At each address, including the Queens Road address, computers and related equipment, and documents, have been seized for examination.

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