The City of London Police has arrested 13 men over their alleged involvement in a £2.8m boiler room scam.
Police said the gang behind the alleged fraud was believed to have been running four boiler rooms through cold-calling people and offering investments in gold leasing and airtime minutes in mobile phone operators.
The investments were offered through fraudulent companies Demmore Ltd, Simply Airtime, S+E Future and Vodacell.
The gang defrauded over 100 people. Police traced the suspects through bank accounts thought to have been set up to receive and launder stolen funds, most of which had been withdrawn or sent overseas.
City of London Police detective inspector Teresa Russell says: “Disrupting and apprehending organised crime gangs running investment frauds in both the UK and overseas continues to be a major priority for City of London Police. The size of today’s operation, involving support from 10 police forces and a total deployment of 120 officers, demonstrates that this is a commitment shared by law enforcement across the country.
“Victims were cold-called by this gang to invest their money in gold leasing and airtime, on the promise of quick and large returns. The stark contrast is that these investment schemes appear to be scams and we suspect those arrested as part of today’s police operation laundered the missing millions for their own or others’ benefit.”