A funeral director has been arrested in London after authorities discovered four bodies in un-refrigerated conditions, stored on pallets, and covered in maggots in a self-storage unit in Wembley.
The funeral director, 50, was arrested by police following a call to self-storage premises in Water Road, Wembley, at around 9.30am last Friday. The Metropolitan Police confirmed that they recovered four corpses from the location and emphasized that the premises had no specialist equipment for the storage of bodies to be kept.
An industry source told The Mirror that the bodies were kept in non-refrigerated conditions during hot weather and simply stacked on wooden pallets and were "maggot-ridden" when recovered.
Police said that all of the dead were elderly and the deaths were not being treated as suspicious.
Authorities said that urgent enquiries were ongoing to establish the identity of the deceased and to make contact with the families to inform them of the situation.
The Specialist Crime unit also said that their detectives were working on establishing the full circumstances surrounding the incident.
The name of the man arrested has not been revealed but police have confirmed he has been bailed until early August.
Detective Superintendent Barry Loader of the Met Police said: "I know these will be concerning developments for local people and in particular those directly affected by what has happened.
"Through the hard work and commitment of colleagues from Specialist Crime, all of the deceased have been identified, their families have been informed and subsequently the bodies returned to the families following consultation with HM Coroner. "The Met has provided dedicated family liaison officers to those affected. I would encourage anyone with concerns to speak with their local Safer Neighbourhoods officers or to call the Met on 101."
The Mirror reported that the arrested man was never certified by the NAFD (National Association of Funeral Directors) despite allegedly displaying a certification that indicated otherwise.
The NAFD said in a statement: "The NAFD has been made aware that a North London freelance funeral director has reportedly been displaying an NAFD Diploma in Funeral Directing certificate at his premises.
"The funeral director concerned has never studied for an NAFD Diploma, nor is he an NAFD member, and so has never been subject to regular inspections, or required to abide by the Funeral Directors Code.
"Our hearts go out to the families affected by his alleged actions and this provides further evidence of the urgent need for all funeral firms to be required to meet the same high standards that NAFD members, and those of fellow industry bodies, already volunteer to meet. "We have offered to give evidence to the Fuller Independent inquiry into the care of deceased people in 2023, and will argue that all funeral firms in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland must be legally compelled to care for deceased and bereaved people with the same professionalism and dignity as the very best in the sector, in line with steps already in progress in Scotland."