Published: 00:01, 06 June 2016
A leading city dentist arrested in a dramatic raid on his practice claims he was made to feel like a terrorist.
Nadim Safdar was quizzed by fraud investigators for 17 hours after officers swooped on Bradley and Partners and put his business in lockdown.
A simultaneous raid saw his home “turned upside down” in front of his wife and one-year-old baby as officers rifled through drawers and cupboards.
Mr Safdar, an ex-Harley Street practitioner and dentist to “celebrities”, is reportedly being investigated for alleged discrepancies in his records of work for NHS patients, the Gazette can reveal.
The 45-year-old strongly denies any wrongdoing and claims he is “looking forward to being exonerated”.
He said: “We had 11 officers turning up at my house at 7am, shouting through the letter box that they had a warrant.
“I was already on my way to work. We then had 16 policemen at the practice. Patients were turned away at the gate. The clinic was in total lockdown.
“It’s wholly disproportionate. I feel as though there was some sort of terrorist offence going on here.”
Mr Safdar, a twice-married father-of-three, bought the practice in St Peter’s Lane – thought to be the oldest in Canterbury – in 2014.
On the clinic’s website Mr Safdar tells of his five years on Harley Street, where his client list included “celebrities and foreign heads of state”.
Patients arriving for dental work at the Regency building on Thursday last week found the gates locked.
Officers were seen filming inside while others went in and out with evidence bags.
A notice to patients pinned on the gates read: “Please note that due to an issue affecting staff access to the practice’s computer system, Bradley and Partners dental practice is closed today.
“The practice will be open for business as usual from tomorrow morning.”
Mr Safdar said he had nothing to hide. “In my mind’s eye it’s about someone making malicious allegations. I’m quite happy to help the investigation,” he said.
“I’m worried they’re going to insist on trying to find something – after all, they’ll be mightily embarrassed if they don’t. But I’m looking forward to the conclusion and to be exonerated.”
Mr Safdar, who lives in Clapham, south London, is also an aspiring author.
He has been featured in The Guardian discussing his recent novel Akram’s War, which was published this month.
“They seized computers, my phone. I’ve only got one copy of my latest novel, which I’m still working on, and they seized that, too,” he said.
Bradley and Partners was open for business the day after the raid.
“The team and I are devastated by this news and apologise for any disruption caused to our loyal customers,” said Mr Safdar in a statement to patients.
A police spokesman confirmed: “One man, aged 45, from Clapham, London, was arrested on behalf of the NHS investigation.”
He has been bailed to reappear at Canterbury police station in November.
More by this authorChris Pragnell