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City of London Police has arrested three men in connection to a suspected one million pound land banking fraud involving City-based firms.

On Tuesday (Nov 30) two men, aged 26 and 49, were arrested in Bromley and at a London office, and on Thursday a third man, 31, was arrested at his home in Lewisham.

All three were detained on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering and later released on bail.

The operation came as detectives from the National Lead Force for fraud continued to investigate the activities of two companies that have been offering investments in plots of land.

Staff from Browne Mackenzie, which is now in liquidation, and Lawrence Taylor & Co Ltd are believed to have cold called investors and offered land for sale at sites in Scotland and Northampton.

During these conversations, or in prospectuses subsequently sent, investors are suspected of being misled about the potential of the land to rise in value.

Detective Inspector Andy Thompson, from the City of London Police, said:

"Since taking on this case we have moved very quickly to make these three arrests. Further action is anticipated in the coming weeks.

"It is now very important for anyone who has invested in land offered by these companies to contact us as soon as possible. Even the smallest pieces of information could prove crucial to our investigation."