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6 August 2014, 13:31 | Updated: 6 August 2014, 13:34
Four men have been arrested over allegations of the improper awarding of more than £18 million of council contracts to a property management company which provides the homeless with temporary accommodation.
Detectives investigating allegations of fraud at Brighton and Hove City Council's housing department arrested the men on suspicion of misconduct in public office and corruption earlier today.
The investigation by the Sussex Police economic crime unit began last November following an investigation by the council's own internal audit team that looked into the allegations which are believed to have spanned the past 10 years.
Officers from Sussex and Surrey police forces searched five addresses in West Sussex, Essex and south west London earlier today.
Detective Sergeant Sally Smith said a 57-year-old man from Haywards Heath, West Sussex, a 51-year-old man from Ilford, Essex, a 67-year-old man from Upminster, Essex, and a 53-year-old man from south west London had been arrested and were being interviewed by police in Brighton.
A property in Hove and a business premises in Brighton were also searched where computers, related equipment and documents were seized for examination, but no arrests were made, a Sussex Police spokesman said.