November 23 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Fresh details have emerged about the operation which saw detectives, including some from outside Norfolk, arrest a police woman in Norwich on suspicion of money laundering and fraud.
The police officer, whose identity has not been revealed, is one of three people arrested in a major probe into fraud and money laundering, known as Operation Fetch.
She is one of two women, one who is in her 30s and one in their 50s who were arrested, along with a man in his 30s, in Norwich on Thursday morning.
Police will not confirm the police woman’s age but did confirm the officer arrested is a police constable. They will also not reveal if the three people arrested are related, or whether they were arrested at their homes.
The three were arrested by detectives from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, which was established in 2010 specifically to tackle organised crime across the six police forces in East Anglia.
The unit, made up of officers from Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk, has a stated mission to “tackle organised crime groups causing the greatest levels of harm to communities of the east”, with highly specialised teams whose tactics include undercover policing. Their goal is to “identify, disrupt and dismantle” organised crime groups.
Operation Fetch is described by the unit as being a RART fraud and money laundering investigation. RART stands for Regional Asset Recovery Team, which carries out financial investigations which can lead to money laundering indictments and confiscations.
A statement from Norfolk police said the officer has been suspended from duty and the matter has been referred - as is routine - to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The force will not say where she is based for her police work.
A spokeswoman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission confirmed: “We have received a referral and it is being assessed to determine the level, if any, of the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s involvement.”
The investigation remains ongoing and all three of the people arrested have been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Stephen Bett, Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said he could not comment on the specifics of the case.
But he said: “Anything that comes up like this, where an officer is arrested, does not do Norfolk Constabulary any good at all.
“I am very disappointed. The investigation is now underway and it will come to court if the evidence is there for it to do so.”
The maximum sentence for money laundering is 14 years in jail, while fraud can carry sentences of up to 10 years behind bars.
• Do you have a crime story? Call crime correspondent Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org