Nine arrested in dawn raids for posing as Grenfell fire victims

Eight men and a woman suspected of defrauding £100,000s by posing as Grenfell fire victims have been arrested in dawn raids today.

They are being questioned by detectives investigating the fatal fire that killed 72 people at the high-rise in June last year.

They are accused of defrauding amounts that vary from £20,000 to £100,000 in housing or allowances.

A spokesman for the Met said: “The arrests – of eight men and one woman – were made at addresses across London.

“All of the offences police are investigating are linked to people who have fraudulently benefited through housing or allowances, by claiming to be victims of the fire.

“The amounts involved range from £20,000 to £100,000. ”

Detective Superintendent Matt Bonner, Senior Investigating Officer, said: “It is completely unacceptable that people would seek to profit from such a human tragedy, and try and attach themselves to a community that they are not part of.

“Over the last 12 months I have met all the families whose loved ones died; many of the survivors and members of the local community from Grenfell.”

The arrests and further details of the police investigation into the cause and spread of the fire at 24-storey block in Kensington, West London, were revealed by Scotland Yard today.

The charred remains of Grenfell Tower remains dominant in the landscape, a bleak memorial to some 80 residents who burnt to death when the apartment caught fire nearly a month ago, July 11 2017.

A police spokesman said: “All onsite police forensic examination within Grenfell Tower has now concluded, and a series of offsite reconstruction tests are being carried out on elements of the buildings’ construction. This involves specialist experts.

“In total, 193 officers and staff continue to work full time on this complex and large scale investigation. 507 organisations have been identified as having a role in the construction, refurbishment and management of Grenfell Tower.

“Through ongoing investigative work police are focusing efforts on the 36 organisations who played the most significant part.”

Commander Stuart Cundy, overseeing the Met response, said: “As we approach one year on since the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower, my thoughts are with all those so deeply affected by that night.

“This large and complex investigation remains a priority and we have made significant progress over the last year. We will continue to investigate fearlessly, as we move forward – all our officers and staff remain committed to carrying out a thorough investigation.”

By Ben Gelblum and Berny Torre

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