Police raid Unite offices in bribery and fraud probe

Police raided a number of Unite’s offices as part of a major bribery, fraud and money laundering investigation.

It is understood police in unmarked cars arrived at a number of the union’s offices with a warrant on Wednesday, April 7. MirrorOnline reports police left with files, documents and a computer relating to one specific employee, who the union has said is now part of a criminal probe.

South Wales Police, which is leading the investigation alongside HMRC, said warrants were executed across the country, including in Cheshire and Merseyside.

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A Unite spokesman said: “A Unite employee is now subject to a criminal investigation by the police. The employee’s office at Unite’s headquarters in Holborn was accessed and searched by the police under warrant.”

A spokesperson from South Wales Police said: “South Wales Police have executed warrants as part of an investigation into allegations of bribery, fraud and money laundering. The warrants were executed on Wednesday 6th April at addresses in the South Wales, Metropolitan, Merseyside, Cheshire , North Wales, Dyfed Powys and Northamptonshire police force areas.

“The joint investigation with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is continuing and a number of suspects will be interviewed in due course.”

The news follows the union’s new boss Sharon Graham ordering a QC-led inquiry into the construction of the Unite the Union Birmingham hotel and conference center. Leaked accounts for the project show costs spiraled to £ 98m by the end of 2019. In 2015, media reports claimed the project was expected to cost £ 35m.

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