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Extract from article in a weekly local newspaper, 2002

Headings on this page :

Men arrested in
charity scam

AN APPEAL for unwanted clothing
to help the poor of Eastern Europe
has been exposed as part of a nationwide
scam after the two men operating
it were arrested and sent for
deportation yesterday afternoon.

Scores of [local] householders
had prepared bundles of clothes
for collection, hoping to help people in
Lithuania, Ukraine and Belorussia.

They had recently received leaflets
appealing for unwanted clothing,
footwear and household linen.

The leaflet, from a company calling
itself Gotham, contained no address or
contact details and featured the business
registration number of an unrelated
firm in London - an offence in itself.

The two illegal immigrants making the
collections, a 47-year-old Lithuanian
and a 31-year-old Latvian, were arrested
on suspicion of deception by [local]
police officers.

As the [paper] went to press police
were awaiting the arrival of Government
to begin deportation proceedings.

[A] licensing officer for
Stockport Metropolitan District Council
where the Gotham organisation was
believed to originate, said continued
efforts by Greater Manchester police
and council officers had failed to
identify those ultimately in control of
the scheme.

"We have no way of knowing whether
the clothes ever get to Eastern
Europe," he said. "They are probably
selling the clothes on to rag merchants
for up to £300 per tonne."

A spokesman for [the] District
said only registered charities
which had successfully applied for
special door-to-door collection licences
could legally carry out collections in
the area.

[Local] Police urged residents
not to be dissuaded from supporting
reputable charities or from taking
clothes to local charity shops.

Anyone with concerns about the
legitimacy of clothing collection leaflets
posted through their door should call
the Charity Commission's help-line on
08xx xxx xxxx.

Extract from the article above reproduced with the kind permission of the newspaper.
Notes - We (CharityBags) have added bold to the names of organisations mentioned.  The Charity Commission's telephone number has since changed.

Comments by CharityBags

List of regulatory organisations mentioned in the article above :