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Syria fraud investigation including Huddersfield and Dewsbury men sees three more arrests

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Police have arrested three more people in connection with a charity fraud involving thousands of pounds intended to help people in Syria.

The arrests take the total to twelve, including a 43-year-old from Huddersfield and a 35-year-old man from Dewsbury.

The three men aged 39, 41 and 42, were arrested in Derby on behalf of Kent Police after more than £45,000 was seized at the Port of Dover on 23rd December, 2012.

They were all subsequently bailed until September.

Addresses across the UK were raided during an early morning operation after £31,816 and £6,413 were seized at Dover in December 2012.

The cash, which had come from four UK charities, was taken by police who believed it could be used for criminal or terrorist activities.

Det Chief Supt Chris Hogben said: “We have now arrested 12 men across the country as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged fraudulent use of funds from four UK-based charities.

“Our investigation aims to ensure funds given by the public reach their intended destination and are not used in connection with criminal activity.

“It is imperative that the public has confidence in the charities they support and in the money they are donating being used for the purpose it is intended.

“We are working with our partners around the country and want to hear from anyone who has information relating to the fraudulent use of charity funds.”

It has also been disclosed that the nephew of former Huddersfield man Omar Deghayes, who was held by the United States as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay, is believed to have died in Kassab, in Latakia province, last month after leaving the UK in January.

His father, Abubaker Deghayes, learned of his son’s death via Facebook, and pleaded for his other two sons, Jaffar, 16, and 20-year-old Amer to return from Syria.

He insisted his three sons were not “terrorists” but had travelled to Syria to defend “those who are weak”.
Around 400 Britons are thought to have gone to Syria over the last two years, authorities believe, with an estimated 20 having died.

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