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Grenfell Tower Fire: Man Arrested After 'Pretending To Have Lost Family In Blaze For Money'

30/06/2017 2:50 AM AEST | Updated 30/06/2017 2:50 AM AEST

A 52-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of fraudulently attempting to gain money and housing by pretending he lost family members in the Grenfell Tower fire.

According to police, a man came forward in the immediate aftermath, claiming his wife and son had died in the horrific blaze that has killed at least 80 people.

He was assigned a Metropolitan Police family liaison officer. He then tried to claim financial support saying he had lost all his property in the fire.

TOLGA AKMEN via Getty Images
The burnt Grenfell Tower. At least 80 people died in the blaze and the death toll is still unknown.

But police became suspicious when the man’s stories became inconsistent and Grenfell residents told police he didn’t live at the flat he claimed to.

They said they traced his actual address in Bromley and established that he did not have a wife or child.

The arrested man was detained on Wednesday evening and remains in custody in a London police station, outside the borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack, who is leading the investigation, said: “The distress and suffering caused to so many families and loved ones that night is harrowing.

“That night people lost their homes, all their possessions and tragically their families and loved ones. The focus of all of us should be on supporting victims and families, recovering loved ones from Grenfell Tower and investigating the fire.

She added the force would not investigate matters such as unlawful sub-letting and immigration status as she didn’t want there to be any “hidden victims” of the tragedy.

But she said: “However, we will robustly investigate any information about anyone who seeks to capitalise on the suffering of so many.”

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