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Whisky.Auction helps catch ‘prolific’ fraudster

Online auctioneer Whisky.Auction helped the police arrest a ‘dangerous’ criminal after looking into a suspicious seller who wanted to shift a bottle quickly.

Isabel Graham-Yooll of Whisky.Auction

At the end of October 2020, Whisky.Auction received a note from a vendor with a ‘very valuable’ new release that they wanted to sell promptly.

Cellar manager Roberto Nicchitta found the note to be suspicious as the bottle in question was an ‘unusual choice to be sold on so quickly’. As such, the team called the bottle in for a closer look, as they do with every bottle sold through the auction platform.

While there was no evidence that the bottle was swiped, and a check against stolen bottles didn’t flag anything, the Whisky.Auction team decided that something was not right and alerted the police.

The auction platform said the seller matched a search in the police database for a ‘prolific burglar who had been evading police capture for some time’. With help from Whisky.Auction, the police were able to track the alleged fraudster down and make an arrest.

Whisky.Auction said the police investigation into the apprehended vendor is still ongoing.

Auction director Isabel Graham-Yooll said: “At Whisky.Auction our specialist team has a huge amount of experience with old and rare whiskies and this is why customers trust us. They know that we carefully inspect every single bottle before we list them and we have extra checks in place to ensure our customers are always protected from fraud. We would encourage all other platforms to be as vigilant.”

This is not the first time Whisky.Auction has helped the police track down a potential fraudster. In 2017, a London-based spirits counterfeiter was apprehended by the Metropolitan Police after Whisky.Auction discovered suspicious bottles during routine authenticity checks. In 2018, the accused man skipped bail and is thought to be on the run from police.

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