The investigation by the Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit started last November after an initial investigation by the council’s own internal audit team.
Detectives are looking into allegations of the improper awarding of council contracts worth more than £18 million over the past ten years to a property management company providing the homeless with temporary accommodation.
After being interviewed in Brighton, the four men were released on police bail this evening (Wednesday 6 August) until October while the investigation continues.
Ashley Parker, 51, of Balfour Road, Ilford, the brother of the council’s suspended head of housing Jugal Sharma, and director of a company called KEM Property Services, is now on bail until Thursday 16 October.
Mr Sharma’s address, in Holland Road, Hove, was also searched today, and it is understood that he will be arrested when he returns from holiday.
Edward Charles Parker-Bancroft, 57, of Harlands Road, Haywards Heath, a shareholder in KEM Property services, is on bail until Friday 17 October
A 53-year old man arrested at an address in Elms Road, Clapham, London, is now on bail until Wednesday 15 October and a 67-year old man arrested at an address in Ashvale Drive, Upminster, Essex, is now on bail until Tuesday 14 October.
A business address in Queen’s Road, Brighton, was also searched but no arrests were made there.
None of those arrested works for Brighton and Hove City Council.
At each address computers and related equipment and documents were seized for examination.
Detective Sergeant Sally Smith said: “The investigation continues. We have already spoken to a number of witnesses, many of whom either work for or have worked for the council, and we would still like to speak to anyone else who believes they have information that might assist the inquiry.
“If you feel you can help in any way, please contact us via 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting Operation Parade.”
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