Merchant duped out of 1,000 cases

11 January, 2007

A north London wine merchant is urging retailers to be

aware of a scam after more than a thousand cases of French wine were stolen from a delivery driver.

Thieves intercepted the driver on his way to Haslemere Wines in Upper Edmonton on Dec 10 and duped him in to handing over nine pallets of wine worth £40,000.

Owner Avie Yiangou said: "It's happened to us three or four times before. They approach the driver and

ask if he's delivering to Haslemere Wines. When the driver says

yes , they say it's not possible to unload there and they take

them to another estate.

"I'm just amazed that at this time of year we've lost a consignment of wines. We put on the delivery note, do not deliver to any other warehouse or premises, but I don't know what happened."

The wine taken is Le Rêve Côtes de Gascogne and Vin de l'Hérault, which Haslemere Wines buys direct from producers in France. A back label states the wine has been specially selected and shipped for Haslemere Wines.

Yiangou said: " This is an exclusive label that we sell to restaurants for their house wine, so it will be easy to spot.

"I t's something

retailers and merchants should be aware of in case it happens to them."

A spokeswoman for Haringey police

urged traders to warn delivery drivers about the scam.

Anyone with information should call DS Nwachukwu at Haringey police on 0208 345 0738, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or David Smith at Haslemere Wines on 020 8 880 9200.

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