DETECTIVES are today probing an alleged £1.4m mortgage fraud.
Two businessmen have been arrested in connection with the possible scam, and homes and offices have been raided.
The 44-year-old, from Gateshead, and 46-year-old, from Morpeth, were quizzed in relation to offences of fraud by misrepresentation and released on bail. Police are today studying computers and documents seized when they searched homes and businesses in Gateshead, Newcastle, and Northumberland.It is alleged that two people, from Tyneside, used false documentation to apply for a loan of £1.4m from a bank in the Dominican Republic.
The money was to be used to buy a single business property in Gateshead. Officers from Northumbria Police’s Economic Crime Unit, along with members of the force’s Total Policing Task Force, have raided four properties in connection with the fraud. Search warrants were executed at two business properties in Newcastle and homes in Gateshead and Morpeth. Paperwork and computers were seized and are now being examined.
It is understood that those arrested each run separate companies on Tyneside but have recently launched a joint business venture. Det Chief Insp Jim McAll, of the Economic Crime Unit, said: “These arrests relate to an allegation two people were involved in a fraud in that they attempted to get a loan to buy some property in Gateshead from a lender in the Dominican Republic.
“We have searched four premises, two home addresses and two business premises. We have seized computers and documentation.” Northumbria Police launched its Total Policing Task Force earlier this summer. It aims to target organised crime gangs and those causing the most misery across the region.
It will work to crack down on all forms of co-ordinated criminal activity, ranging from money laundering and drug trafficking to car theft and burglary. The 60-strong team of detectives and uniformed officers mirrors similar units set up in other part of the country, such as the Matrix Disruption Team in Merseyside. The Task Force gathers information from the five area commands of Northumbria Police – Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland.