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The Travel Network Group has moved to reassure customers of Cheshire travel agency Nantwich Travel, which is under investigation by the police, that it will ‘honour them’ if they paid money up to April 25.
Police have confirmed they have launched an investigation amid reports some customers of the agency have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket having booked holidays that may not exist.
It has been reported locally that Nantwich Travel has not been open since Monday and customers have been congregating outside in an attempt get an update about their bookings and demand their tickets are handed over.
The Crewe Chronicle reported it has spoken to a number of customers, including honeymooners and a group that handed over £18,000, who have been unable to contact the agent.
Nantwich Travel became a member of The Global Travel Group this year. The consortium is urging anyone who is concerned about a holiday booking, or any payment they made to Nantwich Travel, to contact the police directly.
It said it is "supporting the police with their enquiries" and that it is “unable to comment further on an ongoing police investigation”.
"We are saddened to learn of any possible misconduct," said a spokesman.
However, until April this year Nantwich Travel was a member of the The Travel Network Group (TTNG).
Gary Lewis, group managing director, said: “As part of the Travel Trust Association’s (TTA) unique 100% financial protection package, we have honoured all passengers that had paid money to Nantwich Travel up to April 25. This has covered 250 passengers to date.
“We would always advise members of the public when booking their holidays to book with a reputable company that offers financial protection such as the Travel Trust Association or a company within the CAA ATOL protection scheme."
TTNG said Nantwich Travel had been a Worldchoice Plus member since December 2009. Worldchoice and the TTA merged seven years ago and TTNG became the parent brand.
Worldchoice Plus members were Abta members until they were moved to the TTA in 2013.
A spokesman for Abta confirmed that despite the shop facia bearing the Abta logo, Nantwich Travel has not been a member of the organisation since April 2013, meaning recent bookings will not be protected under that body’s financial protection scheme.
A Cheshire Police spokesman said: “Cheshire Police has received several calls from members of the public regarding a travel agency in Nantwich. Police are currently investigating whether any criminal offences have taken place.”
No one was answering calls at Nantwich Travel.
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