Foreign nationals arrested in alleged art sale scam

Wednesday 4 April 2012, 1:18PM
By New Zealand Police


Police in the Hutt Valley have arrested and charged two foreign nationals with obtaining by deception, in relation to door to door art sales in Upper Hutt over the past few days.

Senior Sergeant Brent Murray of the Upper Hutt Police says Police received a complaint yesterday morning relating to the circumstances around the sale of art. Further complaints were also made last night.

"With the assistance of the public, three people were located trying to sell the art in the Silverstream area. One is a 23 year old Israeli male, the second is a 33 year old Chilean female."

Senior Sergeant Murray says they are both jointly charged with Obtaining by Deception and are appearing in the Upper Hutt District Court today.

A third male, New Zealand resident, was spoken to by Police but has not been charged with any offence.

Police allege there has been a misrepresentation conveyed to the customer about the art, which has mislead them to believe the items were worth more than they actually are.

"The Department of Immigration has been involved in the inquiry and is aware of the arrests we have made. We've since had further complaints of art sales in Upper Hutt. It appears this group of people are the same group recently reported in the Nelson area selling art door to door."

He says, "People need to be very aware that this activity is occurring. It is a matter of buyer beware when completing the transaction."

"I would urge people to seriously consider their options when faced with these door to door sales people. Anyone with any concerns should contact us at the Upper Hutt Police on (04) 527 2315 or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."