December 7 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 30, 2013
A village hall in Norfolk resembled London’s Oxford Street for one night only as a fraudster’s collection of designer handbags, clothes and shoes went under the hammer.
Scores of fashionistas headed to Swardeston Village Hall to grab themselves a designer bargain at the auction of 252 high-class handbags and other designer items with Chanel, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton among the labyrinth of labels on view.
More than £60,000 was raised by the event, which followed the conviction of Kankamol Albon of a ‘Ponzi’ type fraud involving the sale of prestige cars from her home at Smallbridge Hall in Suffolk, where losses exceeded £9.2 million.
Albon was sentenced to six years imprisonment in October last year after previously admitting fraud by false misrepresentation, fraudulent trading and theft and another count of VAT fraud.
Following her conviction she became the subject of an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) which meant she had to pay pack her ill gotten gains, including the contents of her bank accounts and BMW car.
That led the Joint Suffolk and Norfolk Economic Crime Unit to sell off the large and rare collection of designer items belonging to Albon, which were seized during the course of the initial investigation.
DC Ady Finbow (pictured), who led the investigation, said: “It’s generated a bit of interest for the village hall and the village.”
He described the auction as “just the start” of the process of trying to claw back the defendant’s criminal benefit, believed to be £9.2m meaning that any other money she ever comes in to will still be retrievable.
He added: “That’s the beauty of POCA.
“It prevents her having a lavish lifestyle while victims are still out of pocket and rightly so.”
Hannah Brown, 29, from Norwich, who works for BrandBank in the city, bought a purple Chanel bag for the “bargain” price of £291.
She said: “I’m very pleased. I would class it as a bargain. The prices were quite reasonable.
“One of the ones I wanted went for over £1,000 but still that’s a cheap bag when, in the shops, they are over £3,000.”
Although she did not know the details about the owner of the collection until arriving she said she thought the auction was a good thing “if it all goes to victims of crime” and was like “giving something back”.