The arrested persons were a 22-year-old man, a 23-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man all from Essex who were held at two addresses on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.
They have all been released on bail (one to December 2013 and two to February 2014) pending further enquiries.
The investigation is ongoing and we will continue to provide significant updates.
In the meantime we have become aware of further wine companies who have been contacting investors and you should be very cautious if you receive calls from any companies offering you investment opportunities.
Two of these companies, Spencer & Elstein and Murdoch & Chase are currently being investigated by the City of London trading standards department.*
You are advised to contact the City of London trading standards department if you have any concerns.
Another company has contacted clients of Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd – Turner-Belgarde Ltd, which was founded on 13th June 2013). Its contact address on the website is given as Glen House, 125 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3RP. These are serviced/virtual offices. The registered office is 113 Winnipeg Way, Canada Fields, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, EN10 6FH with 41-year-old Stephen Turner as the sole director. Although founded just five months ago, Turner-Belgarde Ltd claims to be 'a specialist fine wine wholesaler'.
Going by their laughably wrong advice (from their website – registered on 29th August 2013) on how wine is not subject to Capital Gains Tax, I would certainly not rely on their expertise!
The company also claims to have an account at London City Bond. This is untrue – the company does not have an account at LCB, who have never heard of Turner-Belgarde Ltd.