The man behind a highly lucrative wine fraud operation has been sentenced to four and half years in prison for fraud.
Dogan Arslan, 43, was convicted of handling wine and spirits which he and his gang had obtained fraudulently.
As reported on decanter.com in August 2007, Arslan contacted a large number of French producers posing as a buyer for various UK wine importers and hotels.
When orders were placed, the wine was diverted to an address in North London. The wine promptly disappeared leaving producers empty handed. Arslan and his gang made at least £500,000 from the fraud.
When police arrested Arslan in October 2007 they found wine and spirits worth nearly £250,000 in his Tottenham warehouse including wine from P. Ferraud & Fils (Beaujolais), Château Camplazens (Languedoc) and Château Peyfaures (Entre-deux-Mers).
Fraud cases of this kind are rarely prosecuted successfully.
‘It was successful due to the close cooperation of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the fraud prosecution service, Euro Justice, The French Prosecution Service, French police and the commitment of the victims who were both vintners and transport companies,’ said DS Cheadle, the investigating officer in the case
Written by Jim Budd