The police have been searching 25 properties in four federal states since Tuesday morning on suspicion of gang fraud with emergency corona aid worth millions. The focus of the operation is in East Friesland in Lower Saxony, said a spokesman for the Osnabrück police department of the German Press Agency.

There are also searches in North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. Several media had previously reported.

Five men between the ages of 26 and 62 are suspected. During the Corona crisis, they are said to have jointly applied for the Corona emergency aid in at least 104 cases and in at least 259 cases the subsequent bridging aid in Lower Saxony and other federal states in the amount of around 26 million euros for their own purposes and for companies during the Corona crisis.

According to the investigators, damage of several million euros is said to have occurred. The searches are carried out by the Osnabrück Central Criminal Inspectorate and the Oldenburg Public Prosecutor’s Office.

A total of around 120 workers are deployed. It is not the first time such a scam has been uncovered.