Serious Fraud Office arrests two people in fraud probe into collapsed broadcaster Arena Television
Two people have been arrested as part of a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into collapsed broadcaster Arena Television.
Three sites have also been searched in connection with the criminal probe into the company, which went bust in November.
Set up around 30 years ago, Arena TV supplied broadcasting equipment to clients including ITV, the BBC and Sky Sports for events ranging from Six Nations rugby to the Glastonbury music festival.
Probe: Arena TV supplied broadcasting equipment to clients including ITV, the BBC and Sky Sports for events ranging from Six Nations rugby to the Glastonbury music festival (pictured)
Founder Richard Yeowart, a former cameraman, abruptly ordered the group to stop trading three months ago, leaving most of its 100 or so employees in limbo.
Since then, Arena has been the focus of a fraud probe after administrators estimated up to 55 lenders are owed over £280million in loans made against equipment that may never have existed.
Details have emerged of Yeowart’s lavish life, with the former boss having regularly commuted to work by helicopter.
Arena owned a fleet of vehicles and three jets, and Yeowart, 54, is believed to have a pilot’s licence.
Last month, it was reported that he was in France with fellow Arena TV director Robert Hopkinson, 41, who was thought to have been living with Yeowart in East Grinstead, West Sussex.
The investigation is also looking into the relationship between Arena TV and one of its suppliers, Sentinel Broadcast.
The business, which supplies audio-visual equipment, is being probed to find out whether it created false invoices in cooperation with Arena, the Sunday Times reported in January.
The SFO said that it could not provide further comment on the individuals being questioned or the sites searched.