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Fake football agent defrauds Luxembourg merchant

A Luxembourg wine merchant has been defrauded of thousands of Euros of wine by a man posing as the agent for a premier league footballer.

Latour: ‘offered to UK trade’

Some of the stolen wine – €26,100 of Ausone, Latour, Lafite, Petrus and Margaux – has subsequently been offered to the UK fine wine trade.

In November Gildas Royer, who runs In Vino Gildas, a fine wine shop in the centre of the city of Luxembourg, was approached by a man claiming to be the agent for Manchester City midfielder Yaya Touré.

The man told Royer that he was organising a party for two famous footballers and requested wine from specific Bordeaux properties. Royer agreed to sell the wines, which included a bottle of 1976 Pétrus and two vintages – 2006 and 2007 – of Ausone.

The agent provided bank details and proofs of payment from Barclays Bank – which turned out to be forgeries.

As instructed, Royer then couriered the 30 bottles to an address in Hither Green, South London – which in fact is a hairdressers with accommodation above. Royer never received payment and the football agent has since disappeared.

Some of the wines have been offered to the UK wine trade. In December a wine merchant in the South East of England bought six bottles of 2007 Ausone, worth about £2000, from a private individual who brought the wine on a train from London.

The merchant, who wishes to remain nameless, said the vendor was ‘a hip black guy who said the Ausone belonged a footballer who didn’t want the wine but wanted the money instead. He said he had a number of footballer friends.’

The case still carried In Vino Gildas’ label, the merchant said, ‘so as we are always on the look out for new stock we contacted Royer, who told us what had happened. We were only offered the 2007 Ausone. If there had been more we would have been suspicious.’

The wines sent by In Vino Gildas were 10 bottles of 2006 Ausone, six bottles of 2007 Ausone, three bottles of 2005 Latour, two bottles of 2008 Lafite, seven bottles of 2004 Latour, and one bottle each of 2005 Margaux and 1976 Pétrus.

Written by Jim Budd

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