NFIB and WIA to Provide Better Protection for Wine Investors
Millions of Britons enjoy drinking it and many now see it as a long-term investment. Unfortunately, fine wine has also become a focus for fraudsters who trick investors into buying wines or vineyards that bear little resemblance to what they see in the prospectus, or may not even exist. The increasing number of such rorts in Britain has led to calls for action to be taken to protect investors and to increase consumer confidence in fine wines. In the upshot, the UKs National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is joining forces with the newly-formed Wine Investment Association (WIA) to tackle the problem.
On 14 February 2013, the NFIB and the WIA jointly announced the launch of the new self-regulatory body which will aim to transform the growing wine investment industry by providing better protection for investors in the UK. The WIA has been formed by leading figures from the fine wine investment industry and seeks to support the sector’s growth through voluntary regulation, establishing best practices and setting up processes to identify fraudulent activity.
Director of the NFIB, Det. Supt. Dave Clark, said: “Fraudsters will always follow the money, wine investment is just the latest in a long line of investment opportunities that are being exploited and corrupted to the detriment of the industry as a whole. He added that the NFIB sees the creation of an auditable framework of self-regulation as a step towards maintaining and increasing consumer confidence, while also identifying investment companies which do not operate in accordance with the required high standards.
New Code to Tackle Wine Investment Frauds
Following an extensive consultation period, the WIA has set out the standards and procedures with which its members must comply to remain in good standing. Under the new code of conduct to be drawn up, wine investment firms will undergo stringent audits by accountancy firm Mazars. These will include checks on systems such as stock rotation and to make sure that purchase orders and invoices tally. The director of the WIA, Peter Shakeshaft, revealed that companies which successfully complete the independent audit process commissioned by the newly-formed regulatory body will bear a WIA logo offering consumers a trustworthy safety kitemark. Shakeshaft added: Our industry has been held back far too long by unscrupulous practitioners and issues around fraud. The WIA will really hold the industry to account.
Through the years, man has unceasingly found ways to express their innate creativity and uniqueness. This is evident in many works of art collected throughout the years. However, such ingenuity is not only confined in crafts, sculptures, and paintings. Some people have literally made their own body as their canvas! These people are not only content of admiring art pieces; they made themselves the living and breathing artwork. This is mainly because some people find extreme satisfaction on being different from the rest or getting the kind of attention they unabashedly seek. Hence, this gave birth to the art of body modification.
The art of modifying the human body was already practiced centuries ago in native tribes as a way of making themselves look more attractive for their mate. It has taken a lot of form, such as body tattoo, piercing and interestingly body modification branding. The latter is unquestionably an extreme art form since it requires burning a part of the skin to create a permanent scar.
Body modification branding or otherwise known as scarification have earlier been used in burning identifying marks on livestock. Centuries ago. Greeks used it as a popular form of punishment for slaves and fugitives. Law offenders are branded on their forehead as a blatant sign of condemnation and to intentionally spur social disdain and disgrace. However, this barbaric act was later banned since it violates the human rights act and is deemed to be an extreme penalty to bear for most people.
Nowadays, body modification branding still exists in some sectors of society. No longer as a severe form of castigation but as a voluntary mark of association to a certain group. This practice is quite common in fraternities and organized crime groups. The scar apparently becomes their official membership mark of some sort. Some people use the body modification branding as a right of passage, especially for people who are aspiring to be a member of an exclusive group.
The body modification branding actually has two methods: the strike, where the artist will use a piece of metal to burn the skin repeatedly and the cautery, which uses a cautery pen to make a permanent scar on the skin. Both produce similar results and the scar is something the person will bear for the rest of his life. People who practice branding would claim it is a freestyle form of art, but a lot of people think otherwise. To the eyes of many, it is still a callous act that should no longer be practiced in this modern age.
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