Nicola Sharp, of financial crime specialists Rahman Ravelli, sees significance in the involvement of the National Economic Crime Centre.

One person has been arrested and two properties raided as part of a Serious Fraud Office investigation into a collapsed car leasing investment scheme.

The SFO has announced that it is examining suspected fraudulent activities involving Raedex Consortium companies; including Buy2Let Cars and the used car company PayGo Cars.

The agency searched two homes with the help of the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the City of London Police as part of the investigation. It has interviewed two people. One was arrested before being interviewed and has been released while investigations continue.

The SFO's action comes weeks after Raedex and Buy2Let Cars went into administration. Two months ago, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ordered Raedex to stop trading because of concerns about its finances. The FCA had said that Raedex Consortium had not balanced its books and could not pay its debts.

Previously, Buy2Let Cars had told investors that they could expect returns of up to 11% by giving their money to the parent company, which would then buy cars that would be leased to third-party customers.

The National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) has assisted the SFO with the investigation. The NECC, which was created in 2018, is based within the NCA and includes individuals from the City of London Police, the SFO, the FCA, the Home Office, Crown Prosecution Service and HM Revenue and Customs.

It is interesting to see that the NECC has been assisting the SFO again, in order to help combat economic crime. The NECC has gained increased momentum since its creation in 2018. It continues to help co-ordinate the UK response to economic crime; including criminal, civil and regulatory investigations.

We have seen increased involvement from the NECC in recent times. This is going to increase drastically, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic

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