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The unit’s three detectives have been temporarily transferred to a team of specialist investigators involved in the Grenfell Tower fire investigation in Kensington.

In a statement the Met said: “The investigation into the fire is one of the largest in the Met’s history and involves the use of detectives from a range of different units.

“The Met has liaised with key partners of the Arts and Antiques Unit, and is maintaining ongoing relationships with them in this interim period, and will continue to investigate any allegations of crime related to art or antiques.”

It is expected the unit will be closed for up to four months.

Crimes can be reported by calling 101 or, in the case of fraud members of the public can contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.