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Another scandal hits the CFMMEU: Senior vice president arrested

Image: The Age/Justin McManus

A high-ranking Victorian building union official is reportedly in hot water, as police investigate allegations he received free labour and building materials from contractors to renovate his own home.

The Age reports that CFMMEU senior vice president Derek Christopher, 44, allegedly received the free goods and services from contractors in exchange for giving them preferential treatment.

Police have today arrested a man and woman, both aged 44, in Keilor Lodge, and a 52-year-old woman in Keilor as part of an investigation into allegations of fraud relating to the building industry.

A number of items including computers, mobile phones and paperwork have been seized.

Police have also interviewed six others as part of the investigation.

Nick McKenzie, investigative reporter at The Age, said the practice of exchanging free materials and labor for preferential treatment isn’t unusual in the building industry.

“It’s a fairly widespread practice,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.

“I think what’s extraordinary about these raids and arrests is … they are the result of 18 months of fairly intensive investigation.”

It’s another serious blow to the union at a tough time.

The CFMMEU is currently fighting opposition leader Anthony Albanese’s attempts to expel chief John Setka from the union, after Mr Setka said he would plead guilty on charges of harassing his wife, Emma Walters.

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