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Arrests made in fraud investigation into Medway Commercial Group

Three people are being quizzed by police in connection with a long-running investigation into Medway Council's trading arm.

Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate raided properties in Cliffe Woods near Rochester and Tenterden this morning.

Medway Commerical Group is based at the Innovation Park
Medway Commerical Group is based at the Innovation Park

Detectives are probing reports of financial mismanagement between 2017 and 2019 at the Medway Commercial Group (MCG).

Police spokesman James Walker said a man and a woman, both in their 50s, were arrested at the Tenterden address while a man in his 40s was taken into custody in Medway.

A witness to the Cliffe Woods' raid said officers arrived on the scene at 6am and were there for more than five hours, removing many items in bags and boxes.

MCG, which is based at the Innovation Centre next to Rochester Airport, was charged with commercial projects on behalf of the council such as managing CCTV coverage for Medway and Swale.

As reported by KentOnline, concerns were raised about the firm in February 2019, with police called in six months later after an internal audit carried out by in external forensic accountants.

Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett
Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett

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

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.

Council leader Cllr Alan Jarrett told his cabinet that some projects taken on by MCG were a “departure from its expertise”.

He also revealed it had made a loss of £667,000 in 2018/19.

In March, MCG bosses announced they were rebranding the company Kyndi.

On Friday morning, police said inquiries were continuing and the man his 40s had been released on bail until July 6, and the man and woman in their 50s until July 7.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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