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City police swoop in 50m fraud probe

TWO men have been arrested in connection with an alleged &pound;50m fraud affecting up to 600 investors, after City of London Police raided addresses in London and Surrey yesterday.<br /><br />The investigation relates to three financial consultancies, Business Consulting International (BCI), John Anderson Consulting and Kenneth Peacock Consulting, all of which had their activities suspended by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in 2008.<br /><br />The sting began when seven City of London police officers raided addresses in London and Surrey, arresting one 40-year-old man on suspicion of money laundering, conspiracy to defraud and fraud by misrepresentation.<br /><br />A 43-year-old man later turned himself in at a City of London Police station and was arrested on the same charges.<br /><br />The first man was released on bail, the second is still in custody and a third will be interviewed by police later this week.<br /><br />The FSA has also launched proceedings against three people linked to the financial consultancies for allegedly receiving unlawful deposits and running an unauthorised collective investment scheme.<br /><br />BCI&rsquo;s website describes the firm as a specialist in &ldquo;providing Marketing and Sales Consultancy as well as Strategies for growth across International borders&rdquo; and lists investments with companies such as Look4aproperty.com and Apex Motorsports.<br /><br />Calls to the company were not answered last night, with the telephone line apparently having been disconnected, while the other two firms have no website.<br /><br />Detective Inspector David Manley of the City of London Police said: &ldquo;At this early stage we would like to speak to as many of the investors as possible to maximise the opportunities for gathering evidence.&rdquo;<br /><br />City of London Police are urging anyone with experience of the three firms to call them on 0207 601 6844.