Durham Police Investigating Bannatyne Blackmail Claims

3 August 2011, 10:33

Durham Police say they're investigating threats to Duncan Bannatyne's daughter on Twitter.

The Dragon's Den star, who's business is based in Darlington's put up a 30 grand reward to find those responsible.

E-mails and Tweets are said to have been sent to the 62 year old entrepreneur's daughter.

Durham Police said the threats appeared to originate from an email address based in Russia.

A spokesman for the force said:

'Durham Constabulary can confirm Duncan Bannatyne has reported a number of threatening messages he had received via email and Twitter in which threats were made against a member of his family.

'These appeared to originate from an email address based in Russia.

'We have been liaising since then with Mr Bannatyne and conducting inquiries into the credibility of these threats.'

Bannatyne, whose business interests include health clubs, hotels, media, TV, stage schools, property and transport, issued a statement which said:

'My family is well protected but I take any threat to them very seriously and will do all I can to ensure the person or people involved are caught.'

Reports said that Bannatyne, who received the OBE for his contribution to charity, deleted tweets after offering a £50,000 reward for anyone who broke the arms of the man issuing the threats.

They said that someone calling himself Yuri Vasilyev tweeted Bannatyne three days ago, saying:

'I'm looking for a £35,000 investment to stop us hurting your Hollie Bannatyne. We will bring hurt and pain into your life. We are watching her. She is very attractive. Want photos?'

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