Two held over World Cup packages 'fraud'

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The Independent Online

Two people were arrested on suspicion of fraud after an internet company sold football fans costly World Cup packages to South Africa before telling them it had gone bust, police said today.

Customers of BYT UK complained to police after they handed over thousands of pounds to the Brighton-based business which then told them it had gone under.

The company offered a range of packages for the tournament, from a £1,750 budget deal to a £3,800 package to see the final, all of them including travel and accommodation in three-star game lodges.

Mark Ashton said he paid more than £3,000 for a two-week trip to watch the qualifying stages in June but became concerned when the company was unable to provide any invoices for him and his four friends' flights and accommodation.

Mr Ashton, who paid for the package through Paypal, said his party received an email from the company to say it was going into liquidation and the matter was in the hands of their accountants.

He told the Brighton Argus: "We are all now devastated that those dreams have been shattered.

"Personally I paid over 45 days ago so will not get my money back from Paypal due to their rules."

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said a man and woman, both aged 45 and from Worthing, were arrested on suspicion of fraud yesterday.

After being interviewed by officers they were released on police bail until July pending further inquiries.

She added that anyone with information relating to the company is asked to contact Detective Sergeant David Osland at Brighton CID on 0845 6070 999, extension 50209.