Police investigating a number of fraud reports across Northern Ireland have arrested two men in Antrim.

Detective Sergeant Curley said: "We have received six reports from a number of local shops of fraud and attempted fraud, whereby two men were reported to attempt to purchase gift vouchers with a payment card. The men receive the gift card, however the shop never receives the payment.

"So far, we have received four reports of this type of fraud in the Dungannon area, one in the south Belfast area and one in the Crumlin area.

“Last night, Saturday 9th December, officers from Roads Policing Interceptors Team located the vehicle that the two men were travelling in and stopped and searched them. In the vehicle a number of items were located, including gift vouchers worth a substantial amount of money, cash and suspected stolen goods.

"The men, both aged 28, were arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and currently remain in police custody assisting with enquiries."

Detectives from CID are continuing to investigate these reports and would appeal to any other business affected by this type of crime to contact police on 101.

As part of Operation Season’s Greetings, there are already increased patrols in keys areas in an effort to prevent crime and reassure both shoppers and business owners.

Chief Superintendent Darrin Jones, Business crime lead for the Police Service said: "We know that this is a key time of year for retailers and as a Police Service, we want to reassure businesses that we remain committed to tackling business crime and developing our established partnerships with organisations such as Retail NI, Retailers Against Crime and the Federation of Small Businesses, Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, Belfast City Centre Management and others to ensure Northern Ireland remains a safe place to do business.

"Working together, we can reduce business crime and we’re asking everyone to play their part. If you’re in a shop or in business premises, and you see something suspicious, report it to us.

"That piece of information can help us apprehend criminals, bring them before the Court and return stock to retailers where we can."