Thousands of pounds have been discovered in a van linked to reports of rogue traders near West Kingsdown.

Police are now making sure that any elderly residents that were caught out by the scam are reimbursed.

The money was found concealed under a car seat, after concerns had been raised over suspicious activity at retirement properties in the East Hill Road area of Knatts Valley.

On April 19, 2018, police attended the area in response to allegations that a number of residents had made payments in return for substandard repair work to their properties.

Incidents were also reported where work had been carried out without permission, before homeowners were then charged thousands of pounds.

Officers seized cash totalling £11,900 from a vehicle located close by, which was found to be linked to Hizekiah Roberts and William King.

Using legislation under the Proceeds of Crime Act the matter was pursued in court by officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

A forfeiture hearing was held at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court on February 22.

Neither of the men linked to the investigation contested the order, meaning the money will not be returned to them. Instead it will be paid back to the four victims who reported a loss.

Detective Inspector Annie Clayton said: "Whilst no one was consequently charged with offences in the relation to the case, the men were unable to offer an explanation as to why such a large amount of money had been found inside the car, close to where substandard or unwanted work had been carried out.

"The Proceeds of Crime Act continues to be an important and effective tool, which not only ensures offenders aren’t able to benefit from their unlawful activities, but also enables us to also rightly compensate those who have been directly affected by crime."