Cherie Blair-linked conman Peter Foster arrested on Aussie beach as he ‘plotted to fleece Brits in huge sports bet scam'

AN INFAMOUS fraudster who helped Cherie Blair buy two flats has been arrested again as he allegedly planned a fresh scam to con Brits.

Peter Foster was dramatically detained by cops on an Australian beach as he was planning to fleece unsuspecting British "investors" and others in a sports betting scam.


The 52-year-old was led off in handcuffs as he was held over his allegedly role in a scheme that is claimed to have already netted him up to £1million.

Foster was arrested in police operation as he walked along the beachfront in sun drenched Port Douglas, far north Queensland.

Two detectives posing as joggers in tracksuits tackled him while the fraudster was walking his dogs.

Foster was forced down on his knees with his hands behind his back on the sand as his two Jack Russell dogs jumped up to protect him.

His links to Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife Cherie came when he acted as a financial advisor for her and helped her buy two discounted flats in Bristol in 2002.

Mrs Blair at first denied the claims but was forced to do an embarrassing u-turn within days – with emails emerging in which she called him a "star".

Cherie, a QC and part-time judge, was forced to apologise as she admitted the convicted fraudster had helped her negotiation the deal.

She said she was unaware of his criminal background, and he had a been the boyfriend of her lifestyle guru and pal Carole Caplin.

Police have said Foster is now in custody in Cairns, Queensland,he is expected to be charged at least 15 fraud offences, and he will be extradited to New South Wales.

It is understood he was only days away from buying a luxury yacht which he would use to sail to Fiji or Vanuatu.  

Foster is a lifelong career criminal – first being arrested and fined by the Australian courts when he was just 20.

One of his victims, Australian businessman Dennis Walker, along with his wife, Jan, claims he lost AUD$200,000 (£108,000) when Foster conned them into helping set up betting firm Sports Predictions.

Mr Walker has told how he was groomed by Foster to invest the couple's life savings on the promise becoming the chief executive of the firm in Asia.

He warned that Foster set up bank accounts in Singapore, Hong Kong and Britain, aimed at attracting unsuspecting investors and punters on the promise they could not lose.

The scam promised that a team of expert mathematicians based in Melbourne would accurately forecast the outcome of top sporting events such as football, cricket, rugby, Aussie Rules, golf and tennis

Foster allegedly used the alias of Bill Dawson to woo investors- promising them "rewards without risk" .

Mr Walker said his money "evaporated" after he invested it into Sports Predictions.

It is alleged that no bets were placed by the firm and the money was instead diverted by Foster, who laundered it through New South Wales.

Foster was caught on tape on an internet podcast called King of Sting which exposed him as Dawson telling a would-be investor that Sports Predictions was foolproof.

Sports Predictions is a copy of Foster's previous multi-million dollar con, Sports Trading Company, for which he served just 12 months behind bars .

On the podcast, produced by Australian journalist Justin Armsden and his colleague Bronwin Reid, Dawson promised his expert mathematician could predict the results of sports games.

He has previously served prison time in Australia, Britain, the USA and Vanuatu.

Australian police had him under investigation by the special unit Strike Force Apron Two.

Private investigators IFW Global also played a leading role in tracking down Foster – photographing the moment he got taken down.

IFW Global chairman Ken Gamble said: “Foster is a serial conman and financial predator, scamming hundreds of people from all walks of life in elaborate get rich schemes. 

"He has never shown remorse for his victims, and continues to offend every time he’s released from prison."

The firm had been contacted by a client in Asia who was worried he had been scammed by Sports Predictions – forking over around AUD$2million in Bitcoin.

After being arrested on the beach, he was taken back to his home where he changed into a Hawaiian shirt and was taken off in a police van.

Foster joked the officers should not carry on with the arrest as cops struggled to do up his seatbelt.

He has been in and out of jail across four continents since 1995 for fraud offences including a multi-million dollar weight-loss scam.

Foster calls himself an "International Man of Mischief" on his Facebook page, and had only been released from jail in October 2018 after serving 18 months for fraud.

 

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