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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jim Budd

Rhne producer Jacques Charrire of Domaine d'Aiguillon in Sauveterre (Gard) has had a lucky escape after almost losing thousands of euros to a UK-based distribution company. Last autumn, he was contacted by Groupe Duncan Distribution, a Parisian subsidiary of Duncan Distribution Ltd, which was set up on 28 April 2003 with a registered office at 405 King's Road, London SW10. Charrire, who was keen to increase his exports, was told by a Mr Carmagon that Duncan could provide him with access to businesses and consumers around the world. The company has two websites: and also However, neither contains any information. It must have seemed an opportunity too good to miss, and Charrire wrote a cheque for m6,500 in the first week of December 2003 to give the domaine access to commercial clients. Immediately, Groupe Duncan started pressing Charrire to pay m15,000 for access to consumers. I started to have doubts,' Charrire told Harpers, and I stopped the cheque. Since then I have heard nothing from Duncan.' Duncan Distribution claims to cover almost the entire world. It can, for instance, deliver to 19 countries in Europe, including the UK. However, an investigation by Harpers shows that its UK registered office is actually a small shop called Mail Boxes Etc which combines a mailbox service with printing and copying facilities. We have no record of Duncan Distribution Ltd,' said a young shop assistant. Later, Harpers spoke to Eric Rickett, one of the owners of Mail Boxes Etc. He said he was not aware that 405 was listed by Duncan Distribution as its registered office. Some companies are only here for a short time. Duncan may not have renewed.'