Merseyside Police has arrested the elected Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson and four other men in connection with an ongoing corruption investigation.
The five men were arrested by detectives on Friday morning in connection with offences of bribery and witness intimidation, as part of an investigation into building and development contracts in Liverpool, a police statement said.
The men have been taken to police stations across Merseyside where they will be questioned by detectives, the statement added.
A Liverpool City Council spokesperson said: “Liverpool City Council is cooperating with Merseyside Police in relation to its ongoing investigation. We do not comment on matters relating to individuals.”
The statement from Merseyside Police listed the arrested individuals as:
- A 62-year-old man, from Old Swan, has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
- A 33-year-old man, from West Derby, has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
- A 46-year-old man, from Ainsdale, has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
- A 25-year-old man, from, Ormskirk, has been arrested on suspicion of witness intimidation.
- A 72-year-old man, from Aigburth, has been arrested on suspicion of witness intimidation.
The investigation commenced last year and in the past 12 months has seen the arrests of Liverpool City Council’s director of regeneration Nick Kavanagh, and Elliot Lawless, founder of developer Elliot Group, last December. No charges were brought, and the men were released.
Kavanagh was then rearrested in September alongside four other individuals, but once again no charges were brought.
At the beginning of last month, Merseyside Police attended court to formally request documents from parties connected with the investigation, which centres on corruption allegations related to the sale of council land to developers.
The police were seeking to obtain documents from companies linked to the arrests made in September.
Merseyside Police is expected to issue an update on the latest arrests in the coming days.
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