B.C. cops seize fine art worth ‘tens of millions of dollars’ from alleged fraudster

Police on Vancouver Island say they’ve foiled a fantastic art fraud possibly involving artworks valued “in the tens of thousands and thousands of pounds.”

Investigators with the Saanich Police Office seized far more than 1,000 pieces of artwork previously this thirty day period, as they followed up on complaints about a regional art seller.

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The evident disappearance of 4 items of art, 3 by iconic British Columbia painter Emily Carr and 1 by Canadian painter David Blackwood, sparked the investigation.

Police said a regional art operator contacted them, after entrusting the parts to the art dealer for consignment and probable sale at an Oak Bay gallery in March.

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“The intention was for the art dealer to possibly consign them or search to offer them in the future,” Saanich police Const. Markus Anastasiades advised CKNW’s Mike Smyth Demonstrate.

“However, the owner of the artwork observed that the gallery had shut down a number of months afterward and then making an attempt to access out and get hold of the artwork seller at situations were being cold. There had been unanswered calls, so they turned incredibly suspicious.”

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An investigation then turned up several other folks who advised law enforcement they had also consigned artwork to the dealer only to have communications drop off.

A police research of 3 storage websites in Saanich, Oak Bay and Langford turned up 600 pieces at a person area, more than 100 at the 2nd and far more than 300 at the third.

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“I can guarantee you that the artwork is from Canadian artists who are incredibly properly known, have a higher dollar benefit,” Anastasiades claimed.

“What we understand was happening was that the seller was having art from men and women with the intention of consigning or appraising the artwork, but then afterwards ceasing all speak to, all the while promoting the artwork without reimbursing the proprietors or the artists.”

Anastasiades said police have been dealing with the logistical troubles of guaranteeing the beneficial, fragile art is appropriately managed and transported to a secure location.

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The artwork vendor, who police have but to determine, was arrested on April 21 and launched pending a upcoming courtroom date.

Law enforcement say they are recommending prices of fraud and fake pretense.

Investigators say they are now doing work to reunite the art items with their rightful proprietors.

Any individual who thinks their artwork may possibly be amid the pieces seized in the circumstance can get hold of Saanich Police at [email protected]

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