FOOTAGE has emerged showing the dramatic moment an infamous conman who helped Cherie Blair buy two flats was tackled by undercover cops posing as joggers.
Peter Foster was dramatically detained by police on an Australian beach as he was planning to fleece unsuspecting British “investors” and others in a sports betting scam.
The 52-year-old was led off in handcuffs as he was held over his alleged role in a scheme that is claimed to have already netted him up to £1million.
After being allowed to return home following the arrest on Thursday morning, Foster changed into a Hawaiian shirt.
When asked by reporters how he was feeling, he said he “was annoyed,” because the arrest “wasn’t necessary”.
Foster was arrested in a police operation as he walked along the beachfront in sun drenched Port Douglas, far north Queensland.
Two detectives posing as joggers in tracksuits tackled him while the fraudster was walking his dogs.
Foster was forced down on his knees with his hands behind his back on the sand as his two Jack Russell dogs jumped up to protect him.
His links to Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair’s wife Cherie came when he acted as a financial advisor for her and helped her buy two discounted flats in Bristol in 2002.
Mrs Blair at first denied the claims but was forced to do an embarrassing u-turn within days – with emails emerging in which she called him a “star”.
Cherie, a QC and part-time judge, was forced to apologise as she admitted the convicted fraudster had helped her negotiate the deal.
She said she was unaware of his criminal background, and he had been the boyfriend of her lifestyle guru and pal Carole Caplin.
Police have said Foster is now in custody in Cairns, Queensland, he is expected to be charged with at least 15 fraud offences, and he will be extradited to New South Wales.
It is understood he was only days away from buying a luxury yacht which he would use to sail to Fiji or Vanuatu.
Foster is a lifelong career criminal – first being arrested and fined by the Australian courts when he was just 20.
One of his victims, Australian businessman Dennis Walker, along with his wife, Jan, claims he lost AUD$200,000 (£108,000) when Foster conned them into helping set up betting firm Sports Predictions.
Mr Walker has told how he was groomed by Foster to invest the couple’s life savings on the promise becoming the chief executive of the firm in Asia.
He warned that Foster set up bank accounts in Singapore, Hong Kong and Britain, aimed at attracting unsuspecting investors and punters on the promise they could not lose.
The scam promised that a team of expert mathematicians based in Melbourne would accurately forecast the outcome of top sporting events such as football, cricket, rugby, Aussie Rules, golf and tennis
Foster allegedly used the alias of Bill Dawson to woo investors- promising them “rewards without risk” .
Mr Walker said his money “evaporated” after he invested it into Sports Predictions.
It is alleged that no bets were placed by the firm and the money was instead diverted by Foster, who laundered it through New South Wales.
Foster was caught on tape on an internet podcast called King of Sting which exposed him as Dawson telling a would-be investor that Sports Predictions was foolproof.
Sports Predictions is a copy of Foster’s previous multi-million dollar con, Sports Trading Company, for which he served just 12 months behind bars .
On the podcast, produced by Australian journalist Justin Armsden and his colleague Bronwin Reid, Dawson promised his expert mathematician could predict the results of sports games.
He has previously served prison time in Australia, Britain, the USA and Vanuatu.
Australian police had him under investigation by the special unit Strike Force Apron Two.