24/06/16

Operation Cornflour (Fraud and money laundering)

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Kangs have been instructed in relation to an investigation being conducted by the City of London Police and Sussex Police, in relation to allegations of fraud and international money laundering.

Sixteen companies are being scrutinised in relation to suspected “boiler room” frauds and associated scams. There have been over 300 reports of investors being miss-sold investment opportunities in products such as gold bullion, diamonds and tree plantations. The investigation is at an early stage but it is believed the fraud runs in to several million pounds.

Regulatory Offences (contrary to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2002)

Evidence has also been identified to suggest that advice was being offered to potential investors in relation to a Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) offering a share in a lease of a gold mine in Peru. A CIS, which is also referred to as a “pooled investment”, is a fund that several people contribute to. A fund manager will invest pooled money in to an asset, such as stocks, bonds, property or other alternative investments.

It is alleged that the CIS in this case was set up in breach of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2002. Advising in relation to a CIS is classified as a “regulated activity” by the Financial Conduct Agency (FCA), anyone offering such advice must be authorised to do so by the FCA.

https://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/PERG/8/23.html

Multi Jurisdictional Operation

Multiple bank accounts are currently being analysed. It is evident that funds have been transferred outside of the jurisdiction to Spain, Switzerland, Cyprus, Latvia, Czech Republic, Tanzania, Mauritius and the Seychelles.

Requests for information from Peru have also been made in respect of the Gold Mine at the centre of the investigation.

Restraint Orders

The Courts have granted restraint orders in order to preserve assets. Several bank accounts have been frozen so we have been advising on the options available to vary the restraint orders with the aim of releasing funds.

Our Team

Kangs have a team of specialist of lawyers who are adept at handling the most complex allegations of serious fraud and money laundering. We encourage all clients to seek legal advice as early as possible in such an investigation. Immediate steps should be taken to protect your personal position and business interests. There are key decisions to make at this stage, which can often significantly shape a case should it proceed to Court.

Kangs Solicitors have proven success in securing acquittals in relation to high value allegations of fraud;

We also ensure that no stone is left unturned in our preparation and regularly undertake foreign enquiries, having recently travelled to Dubai during the following case;

Should you need any advice or assistance in this field please feel free to contact Mr Fergus Harrington at Kangs Solicitors who will to provide you with an initial consultation.

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