NEWS
07/06/2018 12:00 BST | Updated 07/06/2018 13:47 BST

Grenfell Tower Fire: 9 People Arrested Over Alleged Fraud

Police raided 11 addresses, predominantly in west London, at around 7am.

PA Wire/PA Images

Nine people have been arrested over allegations of fraud in connection with the Grenfell Tower fire, the Metropolitan Police said.

Eight men and one woman were arrested by Scotland Yard in a series of dawn raids on Thursday, the force said in a briefing.

Police believe two of the individuals are linked but said all the offences are separate. Some of those arrested were living in hotels when they were detained, and the value of the frauds range from £25,000 to £100,000, mostly in relation to false claims for housing support. 

In response to the announcement, Shahin Sadafi, chair of the campaign group Grenfell United, said: “It is hurtful and saddening that people would take advantage of a tragedy like this.

“It is not just that they have taken funds and charity that was not for them, it is disrespectful to the real victims of the fire and people who lost their lives.

“These people have absolutely no place here. We are relieved they have been identified and rooted out.”

Police raided 11 addresses, predominantly in west London, at around 7am.

Detective Superintendent Matt Bonner said: “All those arrests are in connection with what we believe to be fraudulent claims for housing and/or support of one kind or another, arising out of false claims from people that they were associated with Grenfell Tower.”

Regarding the timing of the arrests, he added: “We thought long and hard, there’s obviously a need for us to act quickly once we are able to but also wanted to show due respect to events that have been going on in recent weeks in terms of the commemoration hearings and events that are forthcoming in terms of the anniversary.

“We have consulted with the community where we could and we timed them with utmost respect to all considerations.”

In April, Joyce Msokeri was jailed for four-and-a-half years after posing as a Grenfell Tower survivor in a £19,000 scam. 

The 47-year-old said she escaped the fire and thought her husband had died but she was actually single and living miles away. She then filled a room at a Hilton hotel with donations from well-wishers and concocted an elaborate ploy to claim insurance on her fictitious partner’s death. 

In February, Anh Nhu Nguyen was jailed after pretending his family had died in the blaze to obtain more than £10,000 meant for the true victims of the tragedy. 

Last month, Elaine Douglas and Tommy Brooks pleaded guilty to fraud relating to the disaster after claiming tens of thousands of pounds in financial support. They will be sentenced on 13 July.