Boss of Bimber and Dunphail distilleries arrested and facing extradition to Poland

Boss of Bimber and Dunphail distilleries arrested and facing extradition to Poland

Lucasz Ratajewski has allegedly been living under the assumed name of Dariusz Plazewski since fleeing his native Poland 20 years ago, where he is wanted by police on numerous charges

News 13 Feb 2024 | By Bethany Brown

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The founder of Bimber and Dunphail distilleries has been arrested and is facing extradition to his native Poland on charges including conspiracy to commit murder.

 

Lucasz Ratajewski has allegedly been living under the assumed name of Dariusz Plazewski, who many in the whisky world will know as the founder of London's Bimber Distillery, since arriving in London in 2004. He is said to have fled his home country after being handed a three-year jail sentence for possession of a firearm. 

 

The Daily Mail reported that Ratajewski was arrested in England last month and that Polish authorities were seeking to extradite him back to the country to face charges including conspiracy to commit murder and supplying drugs, in addition to serving his original three-year sentence. 

 

Ratajewski is reported to have been arrested at an address in Acton, the area of west London where Bimber Distillery is located.

 

The Mail also reported that a request by Ratajewski's lawyers for him to be granted bail, which was heard at the High Court, was denied due to the perceived risk of him absconding.

 

Bimber Distillery was founded in London in 2005, one of the first English whisky distilleries to set up shop in recent times. The distillery prizes the use of traditional production methods, including using floor-malted barley  and direct-fired — a production ethos that is replicated at its sister distillery Dunphail, near Forres in Speyside, which started production in October 2023.

 

Bimber and its whiskies have gone on to win awards from international competitions and set new precedents in the use of historical production methods and the English whisky category.

 

Bimber and Dunphail distilleries have been approached for comment.

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