Fraud squad officers have arrested six people in connection with an Australian wine investment scam.
Two women and four men working for Nouveau World Wines were arrested during raids in East and Southeast London.
One of the men is understood to be a director of the company, 34-year-old Daniel Snelling.
The move came after Scotland Yard detectives were alerted to a large-scale specialist wine fraud in which victims handed over thousands of pounds to invest in specialist – but non-existant – Australian wines.
‘Investors’ were told the wine had been laid down to increase in value as it aged.
Nouveau World Wines was set up in September 2004, offering Australian boutique wines as an investment.
Wines sold to investors included the iconic 2007 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz, 2005 Two Hands Aphrodite and 2005 Greenock Creek Alice’s Shiraz.
Nouveau World Wines claimed to have offices in Hong Kong and Melbourne as well as London.
Detective Chief Inspector Robin Cross, who leads the fraud squad, said the arrests followed a lengthy inquiry codenamed Operation Iceman.
‘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.’
The arrests were made at two business address and several homes in Docklands, Sidcup and Bexley. The six have been released on police bail.
Written by Jim Budd