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By Michael Trudeau | Published Dec 10, 2012

Police arrest 11 in suspected carbon credit fraud ring

Detectives for the City of London Police have arrested 10 men and one woman suspected of running a criminal operation selling worthless carbon credits to UK investors.

Last week (4 December), the police arrested eight men working out of two offices in the City after finding evidence linking them to fraudulent companies Hudson Forbes, CT Carbon and Burlington Energy Markets. On the same morning two more men and one woman were arrested in Essex and Hertfordshire. All have since been released on bail.

According to a police statement, the arrests are the latest development in a City of London Police investigation into a growing number of suspected carbon credit frauds, where environment investments are marketed as “a safe way to make easy money”.

Investors buy the products in the belief that they can be traded to companies in a legitimate market, when the credits actually either do not exist or can only be traded on a voluntary market, making them worthless.

Matthew Bradford, detective inspector for the City of London Police, said: “Carbon credits are the latest in a growing list of products marketed by fraudsters as a sure fire way to make maximum profits with minimal risks.

“They exploit people’s misguided belief that environmental investments cannot fail, and then use teams of cold callers to seal the deals, often bullying victims into handing over their savings against their better judgement.”

“Carbon credits are designed for companies and small businesses to offset their carbon emissions, and definitely not for the individual investor looking to buy and sell.”

All 11 were arrested on suspicion of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.

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