AN APPEAL has been made to find Gurkhas in Yorkshire who have been affected by an alleged fraud in which victims are said to have lost millions of pounds they had invested.
Almost 300 Gurkhas, from throughout the UK, including in Yorkshire, are feared to have been ploughed £8.5m into a scheme with CWM Limited (Capital World Markets).
The fund, which offered a five per cent return to investors, is currently under investigation by City of London of Police.
Last year 13 people were arrested and released on bail and the investigation is still ongoing.
Now law firm Fieldfisher said it is launching a class action on behalf of some of the alleged victims. The firm said it appeared that very little of the investors’ funds were actually traded by CWM. The leader of hundreds of Gurkhas, who does not want to be named, said the Gurkha community has been left shocked.
“This has been a really tough period for all the people who invested in the scheme with CWM,” he said.
“We all have extended families in Nepal and a lot of those who have invested have grown up together in the UK. We have lost a lot of money and our pride too.”
He added: “Not all of the investors from the Gurkha community can speak good English. Sadly, though, I was one of the people to invest money in the scheme because I believed in it.
“I have served in the Army for many years and still do. I also have a wife and children and it has affected us greatly.
“I just hope things will be put right now so we can get on with things as best we can. But we need as many people who invested with CWM to come forward.”
Last year City of London Police sent letters to 60 members of the UK Gurkha and Nepalese community urging them to get in contact as part of its investigation into the CWM scheme.
At the time the police said detectives uncovered the names while gathering evidence and believe they may have fallen victim to a major investment fraud.
Detectives held briefings at military bases to make a direct appeal to serving Gurkhas to come forward if they have invested money in the CWM five per cent scheme.
The appeal came more than two months after the City of London Police arrested ten men and three women, all of whom work at the City based foreign exchange trading company, on suspicion of fraud by false representation and money laundering.
Detectives, supported by the Financial Conduct Authority, also seized a host of computers and documentary evidence. The thirteen suspects were questioned and then released on bail until September.
City of London Police Detective Chief Inspector David Manley said at the time:“We are now very keen to hear from members of the Gurkha and Nepalese community who have put money into CWM’s managed fund that was offering a five per cent return per month.”
The Yorkshire Post has been unable to contact CWM.
Last year following the arrests a spokesman for the firm said: “CWM is privileged to be involved with the Nepalese and Gurkha communities. We believe that it is inappropriate that as far as we are aware the Gurkhas alone have been singled out as a group of investors for exploitation purely to garner media attention.
“Offers have been made to the police to ring-fence money, additional to the sums invested, in order to reassure investors. All the allegations are robustly denied. None of those arrested has been charged.”