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Friday 9 April 2010

Two more arrests in investment fraud investigation

Press release from Metropolitan Police (London) Latest from New Scotland Yard at 14.36 on Friday 9th April
'A further two people have been arrested in connection with an alleged £3million wine investment fraud.

Officers from the MPS Fraud Squad carried out raids at two business premises in east London last month, 4 March, and arrested six people on suspicion of money laundering.

Since then, a [G] 40-year old woman attended a central London police station on the 16 March and a [H] 53-year-old man attended a central London police station on the 29 March. Both were arrested on suspicion of money laundering and have been bailed to return in October.

The eight arrests, part of Operation Iceman, followed searches at two business premises and a number of residential addresses in the Docklands area and in Sidcup and Bexley.

Police believe that victims of the alleged fraud were persuaded to invest large amounts of money in specialist wines from Australia that did not actually exist. Those targeted were told that Australian wines can be 'laid down' and increase in value with age and that this scheme was a solid investment to put their savings into.

The six arrested on the 4 March were: Two women aged [A] 28 and [B] 32 and four men aged [C] 40, [D] 65, [E] 30 and [F] 34. They were arrested on suspicion of money laundering offences, and were taken to an east London police station.

They were later bailed to return pending further inquiries. They are next due in October.

The investigation remains active and inquiries continue.

Detective Chief Inspector Robin Cross, head of the Fraud Squad, said: "This kind of investment fraud is becoming far too common. People from all economic backgrounds are being targeted and persuaded to invest in what appears to be a sound financial opportunity.

"We would advise those considering investing money, whether it be a small or large amount, to do their research and be sure that the companies or individuals they are dealing with are reputable and legitimate."

For further advice please visit the MPS Fraud Alert website at:'

investdrinks understands that this investigation is also looking at Finbow Fine Wines Ltd and up to 20 drinks investment companies.

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