Pair arrested on suspicion of Olympic dance fraud

Two people have been arrested over alleged involvement in fraudulent bids to sponsor children as young as nine to dance in the Olympics closing ceremony.

Up to 75 children from dance schools across Northamptonshire had been rehearsing for the ceremony believing they were taking part.

Det Supt Nick Downing said the news was "incredibly disappointing" for the children involved.

A 35-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman have been arrested.

Police were alerted by the Games organisers who confirmed the company run by the two people arrested was not associated with the Olympic or Paralympic Games.

Detectives are investigating approaches to a number of companies across the UK to provide sponsorship.

'Obvious upset'

They have also visited the dance school principals to explain the nature of the inquiry.

The schools so far affected are the Dance Factory, Sinead Loughnane dance school and Kilburn Dance School.

Chief Supt Paul Fell, Territorial Commander for Northamptonshire Police, said: "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."

The children affected are aged between nine and 19 and the businesses approached to provide sponsorship for the scheme are said to be in Manchester, Portsmouth, Birmingham and Northamptonshire.

The arrests were made at addresses in Northampton and London.

Det Supt Nick Downing from Operation Podium, which investigated the case, said: "For many of those affected this will be incredibly disappointing news and will cause concern and sadness.

"What we will do is carry out a thorough investigation that establishes exactly what has taken place and provide whatever answers we can."

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