Alleged international fraud scam in Redbridge discovered

A car was flipped onto its roof yesterday after a collision.

A car was flipped onto its roof yesterday after a collision. - Credit: Archant

Thirteen arrests have been made in connection with a year-long investigation into a suspected international fraud scam.

Redbridge Council’s benefit fraud investigation team allegedly found Bangladeshis, living in Italy, were travelling to east London to collect housing benefit after declaring false employment details.

Benefit assessment officers noticed an increase in claims from Italian residents who were all earning around £156 each week.

The £1.124 million suspected organised fraud scam is believed to be the biggest ever discovered in the borough.

European Economic Area nationals must be in genuine work to claim housing benefit.

The council, working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and the Department for Works and Pensions, established the declared employers might not be legitimately trading and therefore the employment could not be genuine.

It is suspected that this type of alleged fraud could be taking place across other London boroughs, including Tower Hamlets and Newham and other parts of the country.