Spac Nation: Church which helps people at risk of knife crime facing fraud probe

13 November 2019, 15:28 | Updated: 13 November 2019, 19:42

A church which helps young people at risk of knife crime is under investigation after a series of allegations about fraud emerged, Sky News has learned.

A Met Police spokesperson said: "We have received allegations that pertain to potential fraud and other possible offences that relate to Spac Nation.

"Officers are reviewing the allegations to identify if any criminal offences have potentially been committed."

The church's founder and lead pastor Tobi Adegboyega, told Sky News there has not been any wrongdoing, misconduct or mismanagement on his part.

"These are issues between members in the church. Some of these issues relate to business disputes where people have come together to takeout money together to run a business.

"We don't always know about these things, but once we find out something has gone wrong it is our duty to address these issues and ask the people involved to make restitutions," said Mr Adegboyega.

Mr Adegboyega told Sky News: "Should there be cases where we have found our pastors have acted incorrect, we can only apologise to the people affected and then hold those pastors responsible.

"This has nothing to do with cohesion. If there are cases where we have not acted fast enough we can only apologise, but there is no way we would find out as it's not the church people are talking about. It is about individuals in the church."

The Charity Commission has said a regulatory compliance case "examining governance matters at the charity" was ongoing.

Spac Nation has been praised by politicians for its approach in tackling knife crime, setting up 23 safe houses for gang members who are willing to turn their life around and escape from a life of crime.

Mr Adegboyega, who was pictured at this year's Conservative Party conference seated behind government ministers, said: "There is no relationship whatsoever with the prime minister or anyone in government."

Announcing the investigation, the Met added: "Once this review is complete, a decision will be made as to whether a criminal investigation is launched. We cannot comment any further at this time."