Five arrested for alleged fraud involving purported Syrian aid charity

Counter-terrorism unit arrests the men in Dewsbury, Halifax and Sheffield in Yorkshire on suspicion of fraud by false representation

Syria: terrorist link suspected
Syria: terrorist link suspected

Five men have been arrested in Yorkshire by counter-terrorism police as part of an investigation into alleged fraud involving a purported Syrian aid charity.

The men were arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation, with two arrests apiece in Dewsbury and Halifax and a fifth arrest in Sheffield taking place at about 7am this morning.

A spokeswoman for the North East Counter Terrorism Unit, which is leading the investigation, said the unit was trying to ascertain whether the organisation in question was a genuine charity and that she could not release the name of the organisation.

She said the arrests came as part of a "lengthy" ongoing inquiry.

She said Nectu was not aware of any connection to the dozen arrests made earlier this year in an operation led by Kent Police – they are investigating alleged charity fraud with potential terrorist links to Syria after £45,000 was seized at the Port of Dover in December.

Six properties and a business premises across South and West Yorkshire are being searched. The men remain in custody.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said: "We can confirm that we are supporting Nectu in its inquiry into alleged fraud. We cannot comment further about the nature of our role as regulator at this time. However, as always, we will provide further information as soon as we are able to."

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