Global multimillion-pound con suspects arrested
Four people have been arrested after a multimillion-pound global fraud that has allegedly involved 350 victims, was uncovered by police.
The high yield investment scam, which has been running since 2001, encouraged people to send money in the belief that it would be invested in schemes.
Victims were being promised big returns on their investment, police said.
Durham Police have arrested four people in Spennymoor, County Durham, after an investigation was started in February.
All four have been bailed pending further inquiries.
'High interest loans'
Acting Det Sgt Dave Sampson said: "The people who have signed up to these schemes are being told they will be repaid 20 to 25 times the loan.
"They are not receiving the big investment returns promised nor are they getting back the high interest loans they have provided."
Victims were also requested to provide loans to cover the cost of travel expenses, offices and other bills claimed to be connected to the scheme.
The investigation led to the authorities in New Zealand being contacted.
Acting Det Sgt Sampson added the people operating the scam "put pressure on individuals not to report their concerns to authorities or seek advice from solicitors".
The police are appealing for anyone else who signed up to the schemes to come forward to help the investigation but warned that any money already invested would never be returned.