Two arrested after Northants dance schools offered fraudulent place in Olympic ceremony

 

A 35-year-old man and 31-year-old woman have been arrested in Northampton and London as part of an ongoing investigation into a potential fraud in the run-up to the Olympics.

The arrests were made by officers from Operation Podium, which is investigating what appears to be a fraudulent offer to dance schools in the Northamptonshire area, for their pupils to participate in the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.

Podium, which is supported by Northamptonshire Police, is also investigating approaches to a number of companies across the UK to provide sponsorship. The company police believe to be at the heart of the fraud is called RWB Project, Midlands.

Detectives have visited the principals of the dance schools affected this morning to explain what has happened. Investigators and local officers will be making attempts to notify and reassure other potential victims.

Detective Superintendent Nick Downing from Operation Podium said: "It is vitally important at this early stage of the investigation that we alert those parents and children potentially affected and share with them what we know at this time. For many of those affected this will be incredibly disappointing news and will cause concern and sadness.

"Our investigation to date has shown that three dance schools have signed up to what they believed to be participating in the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games. Up to 75 children aged 9 to 19 have been rehearsing and planning for this day.

"What we will do is carry out a thorough investigation that establishes exactly what has taken place and provide whatever answers we can to those affected. I would ask anyone who thinks they may have been affected by this to get in contact with us."

Chief Superintendent Paul Fell, Territorial Commander for Northamptonshire Police, said:

"It is of concern that local people in this county could potentially be involved in such an incident.

"There will be obvious upset with families where young people have been working hard in practising for an event of such importance in which they have been led to believe that they will be involved.

"We will continue to work with colleagues in the Metropolitan Police to ensure that where people may have committed offences they are brought to justice and reassure local people that this will take place."

The investigation was started on Tuesday after a referral was made to the police by the Olympic organisers Locog, which cirmed that the company run by the two people arrested is not in anyway associated with the Olympic or Paralympic Games.

A London 2012 spokesperson said, "We are appalled that these young people appear to have been misled in such a way. The matter is in the hands of the police and we will assist the investigation in any way we can."

When asked about the possibility of fitting in any pupils who were under false expectations of appearing at the closing ceremony, the spokesman said they would unfortunately have to remain disappointed: "We have undertaken extensive auditions for our ceremonies and plans for them are well developed and so it is not possible to add new performers at this stage.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine