The police will not launch a criminal investigation into the church charity SPAC Nation, but will investigate two allegations of fraud relating to the actions of individuals.
In 2019 the The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) was made aware of allegations of fraud and other offences relating to the activities of individuals associated with SPAC Nation.
There had been calls in the House of Commons for a full police inquiry into the charity. MPs had raised concerns about SPAC Nation and called on authorities to suspend its charitable status while an investigation is being carried out.
At the time, Steve Reed, Labour MP for Croydon North, said “I am convinced that SPAC Nation is a cult” and claimed it mainly targets young black people in poorer parts of London, exploiting them for financial gain.
He added: “Tragically, where criminal exploitation is taking place, there is often also sexual exploitation.”
A police statement said: “Officers from Central Specialist Crime carried out a review to identify if any criminal offences had been committed. This review is now complete and no criminal investigation has been launched into these specific allegations.
“However, during this review detectives identified two separate, similar allegations of fraud reported in different parts of London. The allegations relate to the actions of individuals, not the actions of an organisation, and are being investigated by detectives locally.
“Officers from Central Specialist Crime are in contact with the charities commission in relation to its statutory inquiry into SPAC Nation. Should any further information come to light this will be reviewed accordingly.”
The church charity is currently under investigation by the Commission, looking at financial and safeguarding issues.
Two fraud allegations
On 23 January 2019, through a referral from Action Fraud, the MPS received an allegation of fraud by false representation relating to the actions of an individual said to have taken place in 2018. Officers from the Met’s North West Basic Command Unit are investigating.
On 13 January 2020, a 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation. He was taken to a north London police station. He was later released under investigation.
On the same day a search was carried out at an address in Ballards Road, NW2, where a number of items were seized by police.
Secondly, on 25 August 2019 police received an allegation of fraud by false representation relating to the actions of an individual, said to have taken place between March 2017 and July 2019. Officers from the Met’s South Area Basic Command Unit are investigating.
No arrests have been made in relation to this allegation.
SPAC Nation: ‘SPAC Nation vindicated! No case!’
Pastor Tobi Adegboyega tweeted: “SPAC Nation vindicated! No case! The police completed their review of all allegations and I quote their conclusion 'The review is now complete and no further investigations will be made'. Truth always prevails! #SPACNation!.”
In a statement published on Twitter, the charity added: “SPAC Nation will like to re-emphasise that we have confidence in the judiciary system and the law enforcement system, we had every belief that they would do their jobs right and as a church we stand for what is right.
“If we find anyone doing anything wrong within our church we would report them to the necessary authorities.”