Six people have been questioned by police as part of a joint operation with The Pensions Regulator (TPR) investigating a suspected pension fraud.
Around 370 people are believed to have transferred around £18m into eight pension schemes under investigation, with these funds then passed on to companies connected to the suspects in the investigation.
In a TPR-led joint operation with Essex Police, three men and one woman were interviewed under caution on suspicion of fraud offences, and a further two men were arrested and questioned before being released pending further investigation.
The operation also saw search warrants executed at two resident addresses and one business address in Essex on 11 December.
The investigation was launched after a number of legitimate pension schemes informed the regulator that they had received requests to transfer members' savings into suspicious schemes.
This led TPR's Determinations Panel to suspend nine people from acting as trustees for a year, and appoint Dalriada Trustees to act as an independent trustee to the eight schemes. The decision was made under a special procedure which did not give the targets any notice in a bid to safeguard members' interests and the schemes' assets.
TPR executive director of frontline regulation Nicola Parish urged members to be alert to "red flag warning signs" their schemes raise.
"The legitimate schemes in this case did the right thing by raising their concerns with us and stopping their members transferring out and potentially losing their life savings in what we believe to be scams," she added.
In August, the watchdog joined forces with the Financial Conduct Authority to refresh their ScamSmart campaign, warning savers about the dangers of unsolicited pension communications. Earlier this month, the regulators reported a five-fold increase in visits to the campaign's website.
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