22/12/2020 10:24 GMT

SPAC Nation: Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Fraud And Money Laundering

The suspect has since been bailed pending further enquiries.

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Police investigating fraud allegations relating to individuals associated with controversial church SPAC Nation have made a fresh arrest.

He was detained in the early hours of Friday morning on suspicion of offences believed to have taken place between November 2017 and December 2020. 

The suspect has since been bailed pending further enquiries.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “In the early hours of [December 18] a 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering. He has been taken to a south London police station and subsequently released on bail.

“In 2019 the Metropolitan Police Service was made aware of allegations of fraud and other offences relating to individuals associated with SPAC Nation, an evangelical church with members from across London.

“Officers from Central Specialist Crime carried out a review to identify if any criminal offences had been committed. In February 2020 police received new allegations of a similar nature. These were reviewed and a criminal investigation was launched.”

In June, SPAC Nation announced that it would change its name and operate under a banner known as “the NXTION Family”.

As it gained popularity in 2018, SPAC Nation was hailed by politicians as a pioneering church and a beacon of hope for ex-gang members, but has been hit by a slew of serious allegations.

A HuffPost UK investigation revealed in November 2019 that it had created the conditions for fraudsters to flourish within its ranks and was failing to act on allegations of some pastors financially exploiting the young people it claims to help.

We were told about shocking evidence of abuse within safe houses set up by pastors in SPAC Nation, supposedly to protect vulnerable youngsters escaping gangs.

Following HuffPost UK’s exposé, the Charity Commission launched an investigation into SPAC Nation – which is a registered charity – to probe financial and safeguarding allegations. 

The commission said its inquiry had yet to conclude.

A spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “Our inquiry is ongoing; we are unable to comment on an active inquiry so as to avoid prejudicing its outcome. We intend to publish a report setting out our findings once it has concluded.”

According to the watchdog, issues that fall under the scope of an inquiry are unaffected by a charity rebranding, as SPAC Nation has done.