A COUNCIL’S suspended housing chief is to be “interviewed under caution” by police in connection with an alleged £18 million fraud.

Jugal Sharma, who was suspended by Brighton and Hove City Council last year, will be taken in by police on his return from holiday.

Last week, when four others were arrested in connection with the alleged fraud, officers said they were unsure as to where the £82,000-a-year executive was.

However, yesterday they said they had made contact with a man they wished to speak to – understood to be Mr Sharma.

A police spokesman said he would be interviewed under caution.

The Argus believes this is likely to be in a matter of weeks rather than days.

Four others were arrested on August 6 in connection with the alleged improper awarding of city council contracts.

Homes were raided across Sussex, Essex and London and computers and files were taken away as evidence.

Among those arrested and later bailed is understood to be Mr Sharma’s brother Ashley Parker, formerly known as Ashone Sharma and Ashoni Parker.

The 51-year-old is a director – and largest shareholder – of a company called KEM Property Services based in London.

The Argus previously reported the firm had a ten year deal with the council to provide homes for the homeless.

The council also said earlier this year it had launched an inquiry after allegations that the family link between Mr Sharma and Mr Parker had not been declared.

Fellow KEM director Edward Charles Parker-Bancroft, 57, was also arrested at his Harlands Road home in Haywards Heath and a 67-year-old named as Alan Fisher was also arrested at his home in Ashvale Drive, Upminster, Essex.

The Argus understands Mr Fisher is neither an employee of KEM nor of the council.

A fourth man, 53, was arrested at an address in Elms Road, London. His identity is not yet known.

All four men were quizzed by police in Brighton before being released on bail. Mr Parker until October 16, Mr Parker-Bancroft until October 17, Mr Fisher until October 14 and the unnamed 53-year-old until October 15.

Police also searched offices belonging to KEM in Queen’s Road, Brighton.