The scheme, first mooted by former ICAEW council member Douglas Llambias, has now come to fruition and hands accountants full police powers to investigate financial crime. The ceremony was hosted by assistant commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, head of the Metropolitan Police Force’s specialist crime directorate.
The first four accountants to join the Volunteer Forensic Accountants Programme are semi-retired, and will offer about 200 hours a year on a voluntary basis.
A spokeswoman for the Met said the four accountants would have ‘new increased powers’ and that they are expected to ‘use their professional experience to help in the investigations’. ‘They will be helping people deal with fraud in a more hands-on forensic capacity,’ she said.
The Met is understood to be looking towards recruiting between 12 and 20 accountants to help with the scheme. Llambias, managing director of Business Exchange, said the Met became involved in discussions over their problems obtaining sufficient accounting experience and saw the specials programme as a solution. ‘They wanted accountants to be part of the investigation process,’ he said.
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