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At least five different exhibitors selling Chinese porcelain fell foul of dud cheques issued from a closed NatWest bank account in the name of Xwhe trading as Sun Chinese.

The cheques, totalling in excess of £10,000, were signed for goods selected by three Chinese men in their 20s who claimed to be from Shanghai and were quite knowledgeable about their subject matter.

The men – at least one spoke passable English – gave what appears to be a false address in Cambridge.

Hammersmith police have been notified of the incident.