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Staff at online whisky auction site help catch burglar

A wanted criminal is now off the streets thanks to the expert knowledge of the team at online whisky auction house, Whisky.Auction.

Published: January 7, 2021
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Last October, Whisky.Auction received a note from a seller with a very valuable brand new release that they wanted to sell quickly.

Something about this request made cellar manager Roberto Nicchitta suspicious as, while some bottles do get re-sold quickly via auction, the bottle was an unusual choice to be sold on so quickly.

As is standard procedure, the team called the bottle in to have a closer look to find out more.

There was no evidence that it was stolen and a check against a stolen bottles list did not flag anything.

But as the team at the auction site have experience of handling thousands of bottles from around the world on a monthly basis, they have developed an instinctive intuition when something isn’t quite right.

Because of this, they felt uncomfortable enough to approach the police.

A search in the police database showed a match for a prolific burglar who had been evading police capture for some time.

With the information collected by the Whisky.Auction team the police were at last able to track the burglar down and make an arrest.

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While criminal activity in the world of whisky auctions is rare, this is not the first time the Whisky.Auction team has caught a criminal, also helping with a huge whisky fakes bust in 2017.

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.”

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The investigation into the apprehended thief is still ongoing with the police.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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