Craig Thomson arrested by fraud squad

Federal MP Craig Thomson has been arrested at his electoral office.

Members of the NSW fraud squad today executed an arrest warrant on behalf of the Victorian Fraud and extortion squad.

Victorian detectives flew to Sydney this morning where they accompanied NSW police to Mr Thomson's Central Coast electoral office.

The Victorian police have spent almost 18 months investigating claims that Mr Thomson improperly used Health Services Union funds to spend on prostitutes, air travel, entertainment and cash withdrawals in excess of $100,000.

In October last year police raided Mr Thomson's Bateau Bay home as well as his electoral office.

They took away large boxes of material.

Mr Thomson was national secretary of the HSU from 2002 until 2007 when he was elected to Parliament. Earlier last year he was suspended from the ALP and has been sitting as an independent in parliament since that time.

Mr Thomson will be taken to the local police station where he will be charged with a multitude of fraud-related offences.

His expected to appear in Tuggerah court later today in order to apply for bail. Mr Thomson has continued to maintain his innocence. He is also facing civil proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia relating to allegations that he improperly used union funds for his own benefit,

Earlier, Mr Thomson said speculation he may be arrested on fraud charges ‘‘could be right’’.

''Let’s wait and see,’’ he told AAP.

''(The media report) could be right.’’He said he did not intend to make any public comments at this point but ‘‘if something develops today we’ll certainly be making some comments’’.

Mr Thomson has strenuously denied allegations he misused union funds to pay for prostitutes, air travel, entertainment and cash withdrawals when he was the HSU national secretary from 2002 to 2007.

Victorian police have not contacted him since they raided his home and electorate office on the NSW Central Coast in October last year.

His lawyer, Chris McArdle, told AAP he had not been contacted about any forthcoming charges.Mr Thomson said if charges were laid, he didn’t expect to be arrested and extradited to face a Victorian court.

Rather, he believes, he would be served a notice to attend court on a future date.

Asked how he was coping with the stress of the investigation, he replied, ‘‘We’re getting on with doing the job.’’

Mr Thomson has been suspended from the Labor party but it would be damaging for the federal government if charges are laid against him.

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