EX NAPIER DIRECTOR IN LAND INVESTMENT SCHEME
Fancy investing in a plot of land that one day might get planning permission then speak to Stephen Cleeve formerly a director of the Napier Spirit Company Limited and the signatory on your whisky certificate but now a partner in European Land Sales. If you are prepared to part with £20,000 then you will receive title to a freehold plot of land at Bow Brickhill near Milton Keynes.
Unfortunately according to Milton Keynes Council the site is not allocated for development in the local plan, was not discussed at a recent public enquiry into the local plan and strangely European Land Sales have had no discussions with the council about the feasibility of the site for development.
Cleeve personally bought the land for a mere £90,000 in March 2004 but has now split it into 113 plots and is offering the plots for sale at around £20,000 a plot. He has a team of salesmen fronting the scheme and making up outrageous claims to induce people to buy a plot. So far we know he has sold at least 38 plots.
Disqualified as a director until 2008 following his involvement in Napier and Forrester & Lamago Cleeve is stated on ELS notepaper to be a partner in the business with a John Beckwith-Smith. He is not mentioned on their website. One disgruntled potential investor made a complaint to the DTI only to be told that the DTI do not have jurisdiction to investigate the complaint because it is a partnership. In July the local MP Brian White raised the matter in the House - "I emphasise to the Deputy Leader of the House that someone who has been barred as a company director is running the scheme and gets round the law by forming a partnership. I ask my hon. Friend to take up with the Department of Trade and Industry not only closing the loophole that allow scams such as those in Bromsgrove and Milton Keynes to occur but extending the bars on directorships to partnerships".
Cleeve has also bought a site at Mead Lane Eynsham and split it into 87 plots. According to their salesmen while the site is not currently in the Local Plan we expect it to be included soon." But according to West Oxfordshire District Council Planning Department, "The site is located outside of the village in the Oxford Greenbelt and in the floodplain. In the light of the above, given present land-use planning policies the land has no residential development potential."
You will recall from our previous newsletters that Cleeve is an avid Chelsea football fan but not very popular with the Directors. Ken Bates former chairman of Chelsea writing in the Chelsea v Spurs programme in February 2003 said "We have a supporter whose actions are bringing Chelsea's name into disrepute in the game. His name is Stephen Cleeve and he runs a website where he flogs memorabilia. His speciality is trying to obtain free tickets for away matches from the home club. In Stavanger he was ejected trying to use somebody else's press pass. At Old Trafford he tried to get a Director's Box ticket on the grounds that Chelsea had overlooked him. At Shrewsbury he posed as a potential investor to try and gain access to the Board Room. We are tired of his shenanigans and have suspended his membership of the Executive Club. Please don't let him in on your ticket - he's not worth it.'
Though Cleeve was disqualified as a Director the Serious Fraud Office failed to prosecute him for conspiracy to defraud under common law after investigating his companies for some years on the grounds that he could not be given a fair trial within a reasonable time contrary to article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Well what about the rights of the victims of the Napier scam - now we know Cleeve has considerable assets why not a private prosecution? If convicted a Compensation Order would recover investors losses. Anybody game?
Is'nt It Time You Bottled Your Own
Since last year we have arranged the bottling and labelling of many casks. While it is quite a costly exercise at least you will end up with your own Single Malt. Some investors have taken all the bottles - about 300 in a Hogshead others have taken part and we have sold the rest through "Whisky World at the Wheatsheaf" a public house in Kendal which specialises in single malts.
The cost of bottling a Hogshead is about £600.00. Duty is usually around £2,500.00 but it does depend on how much whisky is left in the cask. The first requirement is to test the whisky by obtaining a 200ml sample from the bond where it is held. This usually cost about £20-25. You will also need to consider the transport cost from the bond to the bottler and once bottled from the bottler to your address. You can put your own label on the bottles but remember you cannot call it "Bowmore" "Macallan" "Bruichladdich" since these are all trade names. You can call it Single Malt Whisky from whatever distillery it is from with an age statement. We can arrange labelling for you in two colours at a cost of about £80.00 for 320 labels to your own design. If you are interested in bottling please contact us on
01539 729555 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
This Newsletter is published by The Malt Whisky Buyers Helpline
98 Stricklandgate Kendal CUMBRIA LA9 4PU
Tel. 01539 729555 Fax. 01539 740279
Web site www.whiskyscam.co.uk
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Many investors have been able to sell their casks of whisky through brokers but the prices offered no way reflect the prices paid 9 or 10 years ago. If you can find an independent bottler who wants your cask then you can usually nearly double your price. These are some of the prices we have been achieving in the last 3 months through brokers.
1989 Macallan £4.50/£6 per litre 1991 Linkwood £3.90 per litre
1989 Highland Park £4.75/£5.25 per litre 1992 Aberlour £4.50 per litre
1990 Bowmore £6.00 per litre 1994 Speyside £2.30 per litre
1994 Tobermory and Deanston £350.00 per hogshead
While many investors are fed up with paying the storage charges and have decided to cut their losses, my advice is to do the opposite to what everyone else is doing and to hold onto your cask if you can until they are 15-20 years old. It is worthwhile obtaining a sample if they have reached 10 years old to see if the cask needs changing. Many of the Macallan and Highland Hogsheads are in third or fourth refill of casks, which means that the whisky is very pale. This can be rectified by changing the cask and while it is expensive to do this for one cask, if we can change a number of casks at the same time lying in the same bond it will be cheaper. If anyone is interested, please contact us.
We are trying to update our records of what casks everyone is still holding and would be grateful if you could email your details to: