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Arrest after police seize tens of thousands of bottles of wine

By Jade Edwards

A man has been arrested after tens of thousands of bottles of wine, and flat screen televisions, were seized by police from warehouses in Horsmonden and Brenchley.

Officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit have also recovered shipments of marble tiles and air conditioning units, as part of an investigation into an alleged conspiracy to defraud a number of foreign businesses.

It is reported that fraudulent orders have been made to at least 20 companies, based outside of the UK.

Two men have been charged. Stock image
Two men have been charged. Stock image

Victims complained after goods had been dispatched but no payments were received.

On Thursday, July 20, police searched a warehouse in Goudhurst Road, Horsmonden, and a second premises in Tibbs Court Lane, Brenchley.

In total officers seized 217 pallets of goods, filling four HGV lorries. A process to identify items recovered from these storage areas is ongoing.

A 26-year-old man from Horsmonden has been arrested in connection with the investigation and has been bailed, pending further inquiries, until August 17.

DI Annie Clayton said: "We have received multiple complaints from victims who have alleged they have lost goods due to fraud and that these goods were delivered to storage facilities in west Kent - which have now been searched.

"This is a complex investigation, which is being assisted by our partners at Interpol and the Metropolitan Police and which has so far resulted in the recovery of vast amounts of property we believe has been obtained by fraudulent means.

"The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate is committed to tackling those who facilitate organised crime in Kent and we are investigating allegations, which are on a very significant scale."

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