HAMPSHIRE police have arrested a 53-year-old man after it’s alleged tens of thousands of pounds went missing from the UK’s largest association of Royal Navy veterans.
The HMS Ganges Association, which has 3,000 members across the world, reported a loss of up to £67,000 to detectives.
The missing money was reported to police by the Portsmouth-based folk singer and comedian Shep Woolley, who was elected as chairman of the association in May.
Mr Woolley, who joined HMS Ganges in 1960 and served in the navy until 1976, said: ‘HMS Ganges Association is the largest naval association in the world. It’s a very distressing time for the whole of the association.’
Hampshire Constabulary confirmed a man was held for questioning last week.
A spokesman said: ‘A 53-year-old man from Uxbridge, Greater London has been arrested by officers from Hampshire Constabulary on suspicion of obtaining money by deception.
‘He has been questioned and released on bail until October 26 this year pending further inquiries.’
Police are going through the association’s accounts and computer records as part of the investigation to establish if money has been misappropriated.
Detectives are also trying to ascertain exactly how much cash may have gone missing.
The association was set up for veterans of HMS Ganges – the training school for boys joining the naval service straight from school at the age of 15 and 16.
Tens of thousands of sailors began their careers at the shore establishment in Shotley Gate, Suffolk, which opened in 1905 and closed in 1976.
The association gets class and shipmates back together at its annual reunion.
Divisional meetings are also held regularly throughout the UK and abroad.