UK

Gurkhas urged to come forward in fraud police inquiry

  • 4 February 2016
  • From the section UK
Gurkha soldiers on parade in 2011 Image copyright Getty Images

Hundreds of Gurkhas who may have lost money in a suspected £50m City fraud have been urged to come forward.

City of London Police says it has heard from some potential victims who claim to have invested thousands or millions in a "Ponzi" scheme with little return.

A Ponzi scheme fraudulently distributes returns to investors from the money paid in by other investors.

Police investigating City-based foreign exchange trading firm Capital World Market have arrested 14 people.

City of London Police believe about 450 Gurkha and Nepalese community members invested but many have not made contact with police.

'Piece of jigsaw'

Det Ch Insp Dave Manley said those who had not come forward were "a large piece of the jigsaw that is missing".

"The harm caused to individuals, their families, their pension pots and life savings - at the moment is not being represented within the case. The story of how this has impacted and affected people needs to be told in the judicial process.

"It would be a shame for us to get to the next stage, and the level of harm that's been caused to the community is not measured or part of the case."

Police have been probing Capital World Market (CWM), which was promising returns of 5% per month to investors, since October 2014.

'Best interest'

Gary Ghale, from the Gurkha Welfare Trust, said it was the first time he had heard of so many people from the Gurkha and Nepalese communities being linked to such a scheme.

He believes many may have been encouraged to take part by family and friends.

"We would recommend those who believe they have fallen victim to contact the police," said Mr Ghale.

"Their case will be treated with care and absolute confidence and they will be treated as victims and not as suspects. We believe it is in people's best interest to come forward."

City of London Police arrested 10 men and three women at CWM's London offices nine months ago on suspicion of fraud by false representation and money laundering.

They were questioned and released on police bail until March.

Detectives, supported by the Financial Conduct Authority, also seized computers and documents.

Another man was later arrested and is also on bail.

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