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Police officers arrested in imports investigation

Two Hampshire Constabulary officers have been suspended from duty following a year-long criminal investigation into the importation of Japanese vehicles.

In an official press statement the force, which has its headquarters in Winchester and which covers the seaport cities of Portsmouth and Southampton as well as the Isle of Wight, says: “A number of persons have been arrested in relation to this matter. “This includes two police officers from this force who have been suspended by the deputy chief constable Ian Readhead.”

It adds that as the arrests arose from a criminal investigation it could not comment further. AM-online understands the investigation was sparked after an hour-long BBC TV Watchdog special entitled 'The biggest car fraud in the world' was screened last year. The British Independent Motor Trade Association (BIMTA), which represents non-franchised businesses dealing in imports, says it lodged formal complaints after the programme.

“We understand the investigation is looking into allegations of fraud and that detectives are focusing on the question of vehicle ownership,' says BIMTA general secretary Richard Moore. The BBC declines to comment.

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