A woman has been arrested for fraudulently obtaining several bounce back loans and channelling the funds into cryptocurrency.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s proactive money laundering team found that several ‘mule’ bank accounts were used to receive the proceeds from the government-backed loans, which was then transferred to the cryptocurrency wallet of the suspect.
The police later arrested the 35-year old woman on suspicion of fraud and money laundering and recovered £115,000 of cryptocurrency from the suspect’s wallet.
“I would implore people to be careful about what personal and banking information they give out online or over the phone,” said Ian Barrett, detective sergeant from the Met’s proactive money laundering team.
“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.”
The detectives launched the investigation after discovering the suspect was controlling a large sum of fraudulently obtained bitcoin.
Met officers, assisted by officers from Suffolk Constabulary’s proactive crime team, searched the suspect’s home address in Ipswich after a search warrant was obtained.
Several children were found to be on their own so when the suspect was found close by and later arrested on suspicion of fraud and money laundering, the police also arrested her on suspicion of child neglect.
The suspect was then taken to a police station and after being interviewed was later released under investigation.
Met officers then successfully applied to a London magistrates court to take possession of the suspect’s cryptocurrency funds held in her wallet.
The investigation continues.