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Two new suspects quizzed over Medway Commercial Group fraud allegations

It has been revealed that two more people have been quizzed as part of a probe into a council's commercial wing.

Kent Police says the pair were questioned as part of its investigation into Medway Commercial Group (MCG).

Medway Commercial Group was based at the Innovation Park in Chatham
Medway Commercial Group was based at the Innovation Park in Chatham

It is now three years since the force was made aware of concerns regarding the company, and seven months since officers arrested two men and a woman.

The trio were quizzed and later released following raids at properties in Tenterden and Cliffe Woods on the Hoo Peninsula.

Detectives are probing allegations of irregularities at MCG between 2017 and 2019.

According to the council, a number of additional projects “had been progressed which were outside the core business and had not provided an adequate return on investment”.

KentOnline understands this potentially involves hundreds of thousands of pounds, but this has not been confirmed by the local authority or police.

Two of the arrested people come from the Tenterden area
Two of the arrested people come from the Tenterden area

Deputy council leader Cllr Howard Doe was drafted in to take over as chairman of the company and a member of staff was dismissed in September 2019.

In March last year MCG, which was responsible for projects such as running the Towns' CCTV network, announced it was rebranding itself as Kyndi.

At this stage it is not clear when officers spoke to the latest two people – a man and woman in their 50s – or where they are from.

In a statement to mark the three years, Detective Superintendent Patrick Milford, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "We received allegations of fraud at the Medway Commercial Group and specialist investigators are investigating.

"As part of inquiries, three people were arrested on suspicion of fraud following the execution of pre-planned warrants in June 2021.

Medway Council leader Cllr Alan Jarrett
Medway Council leader Cllr Alan Jarrett

"The individuals have all been released from custody, while further investigative work is completed. A further two people been interviewed non-custodially.

"As is the case with all our investigations, all information received is being diligently reviewed to assess whether a referral should be made to the Crown Prosecution Service."

Council leader Cllr Alan Jarrett was unaware of the two new people being questioned and was reluctant to speak about the case while it was being probed.

He said: "All I can say is that we are hoping for a thorough and comprehensive investigation so we can finally draw a line under all of this."

Labour leader Cllr Vince Maple said it was important investigators get to the bottom of the accusations.

Cllr Vince Maple, Labour, Medway Council
Cllr Vince Maple, Labour, Medway Council

He said: “I welcome the police making progress with their investigations into the actions within the Medway Council-owned company.

"Like many people, I have a number of serious questions which need answering but it is entirely appropriate these wait until the police and Crown Prosecution Service have carried out their work fully.”

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