Two arrested in Crown Currency investigation

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The Independent Online

Two people have been arrested by police investigating the collapse of Crown Currency, the foreign exchange firm that went into administration in October.

Members of Devon and Cornwall Police's economic crime department arrested the two men, who are aged 68 and 70. They also executed a number of search warrants in connection with the investigation in Cornwall and Glastonbury.

"It is expected that this will be a protracted inquiry that may take many months," Detective Inspector Paul Bean of Devon and Cornwall Police said yesterday.

Crown Currency's collapse left about 13,000 people without their travel cash. Det Insp Bean said the police were liaising both with the administrators, MCR, and Crown Currency Action Group, which was set up to try to recover funds on behalf of customers who were left out of pocket when the company went under.

Before it collapsed, the Cornwall-based firm, which was set up by Peter and Susan Benstead in 2004, provided three main services: foreign currency notes, travellers cheques and money transfers. MCR said it operated using a number of names, including Crown Currency Exchange, Travel Money Services and Crown Holdings (London) Limited.

The value of customer transactions ranged from £100 to around £20,000, according to the administrators, who added that there were also several transactions worth between £100,000 and £400,000.

MCR also said that Crown Currency had offered "extremely competitive" rates, and had been recommended by a number of consumer websites.