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'Fraud' targeting elderly linked to UK extremists

Police are investigating a fraud targeting elderly people that is linked to extremists travelling to Syria Credit: PA

Counter-terrorism police investigating a "large scale" alleged fraud linked to extremists travelling to Syria have arrested seven people.

Six men and one woman have been arrested after raids on seven addresses in London and Luton as part of a probe into allegations that vulnerable and elderly victims are 'cold-called' by someone impersonating a police officer and scammed out of money.

The men, all in their 20s and 30s, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering and a 32-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

A 46-year-old woman was also arrested during a property search in north London on suspicion of a separate offence under the Child Abduction Act in relation to a young girl travelling to Turkey whose whereabouts remain unknown.

She has been bailed until June alongside two women, aged 20 and 21, who were previously arrested in relation to this inquiry.

Officers are investigating a large-scale fraud linked to UK extremists travelling to Syria.

The arrests today form part of an ongoing fraud investigation, whereby unsuspecting vulnerable and elderly victims are 'cold called' on their home phone by a suspect impersonating a police officer.

Members of the public are strongly advised, if you receive a call like this about your bank account from someone claiming to be a police officer, hang up the phone, wait at least five minutes to make sure the phone line has cleared, or use another phone line, before ringing the phone number on your bank card.

– A Scotland Yard spokesman

Police search home of a Brit killed fighting in Syria

Counter Terrorism officers have searched the home of a British teenager who was killed in Syria last month, police said.

The officers took away material which "may be relevant to the inquiry," a police spokesman said.

Abdullah Deghayes from Brighton died in Syria. Credit: Family handout/PA Wire

Abdullah, whose uncle Omar Deghayes was held at Guantanamo Bay detention camp between 2002 and 2007, was killed in a battle in Syrian town of Kassab in April.

His brothers Jafar and Amer also traveled to Syria, their father Abubaker Deghayes said. The family says they were unaware the three brothers had left for Syria until they had gone.

Sussex Police searched the home in Saltdean, near Brighton, for two days, while Mr Deghayes and the rest of the family were made to relocate to a hotel, according to Cage, an independent advocacy organisation which says it works with communities affected by the war on terror.