Gang under investigation and three arrested after they ‘got £2m for PPE gloves that never arrived’ amid shortages of protection equipment during pandemic
- The National Crime Agency has arrested three people in the inquiry
A gang suspected of running a PPE company in a £1.9million advance fee fraud are under investigation by police.
The National Crime Agency arrested three people, including a husband and wife, in an international inquiry into the alleged scam.
Investigators believe the group set up a UK company solely to exploit shortages of protection equipment during the Covid pandemic.
They are accused of pocketing almost £1.9million in up-front fees demanded from companies in America and Germany, who thought they were buying sterile gloves.
The gang allegedly brokered deals to sell PPE worth more than £27million but never delivered any items.
Investigators believe the group set up a UK company solely to exploit shortages of protection equipment (pictured) during the Covid pandemic
Officers in February searched properties in Loughborough, Leicestershire, and Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, seizing a car, jewellery and digital devices.
NCA Branch Commander Mick Pope said: ‘During the pandemic, both individuals and businesses were impacted by criminal opportunists.’
‘The NCA prioritised and tackled a range of serious organised crime threats, including fraud.
‘False business agreements that turn out to be fraud, damage the reputation of the UK and hurt our economy.
‘We continue to treat this as a priority area and thank Leicestershire Police for their ongoing support.
‘Work is underway with law enforcement partners in the US and Germany to further this investigation.’