UK

UK fraud police release wanted list

  • 19 July 2016
  • From the section UK
The 10 most wanted fraudsters Image copyright PA
Image caption From top left to right: Alex McKenzie, Sandeep Arora, Levi Coyle, Marius Anton, Felix Rooney; bottom left to right: Adam Stagg, Alexia Thomas, Faisal Butt, Bayo Anoworin and Naeem Ahmed

A list of 10 alleged fraudsters who are accused of owing £20m between them has been published by police in the UK.

It includes a Bollywood film producer accused of a £4.5m fraud, and a Nigerian alleged to have been in a gang that stole more than £12m from the NHS.

The list was drawn up by City of London Police and the National Crime Agency as part of a new crackdown on fraud.

Figures to be published this week are expected to show fraud is the most prevalent crime in England and Wales.

'Distress and loss'

Bollywood film producer Sandeep Arora, 42, from Beckton, east London, is accused of claiming £4.5m in VAT and film tax rebates for movies that either did not exist or with which he had no involvement.

He is known as Karan Arora in Bollywood circles, police said, and is currently believed to be in India.

Alex McKenzie, 33, from London, is accused of targeting victims using the gay social networking app Scruff, gaining their trust by claiming to work for MI6.

He is alleged to have taken out credit cards, bank accounts and loans in the names of two former lovers and the parent of one of his partners, defrauding them of a total of £300,000 between November 2014 and October 2015. Police believe he is now in the US.

Image copyright Thinkstock

Bayo Lawrence Anoworin, 41, from Lagos, Nigeria, is accused of being part of an organised crime group that defrauded NHS trusts in the UK and Guernsey of a total of £12m and laundered the money between 2011 and 2012.

He has connections to Abbey Wood and Thamesmead, in south-east London and Chatham in Kent, police said.

The other people on the list are:

  • Levi John Coyle, 36, from Colchester, Essex, was convicted while on the run in 2013 of selling fake shares in a £700,000 investment scam
  • Marius Lucian Anton, 31, a Romanian national with links to the Midlands, is wanted by Cheshire Constabulary for allegedly committing multiple cash machine fraud offences across the country since 2012
  • Adam James Stagg, 29, is accused of a £20,000 fraud where people were allegedly duped into paying hundreds of pounds for designer and luxury watches they never received. He is believed to be in the Philippines
  • Alexia Thomas, 43, is accused of being involved in the fraudulent supply of immigration documents and is wanted by UK authorities
  • Faisal Butt, 39, of Lahore, Pakistan, was convicted in his absence of stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from more than 100 bank accounts. It is believed he fled to Pakistan
  • Naeem Ahmed, 44, from Smethwick, West Midlands, is accused of conning a string of mobile phone shops out of new handsets worth £40,000 by using stolen customer payment details. He was arrested in October 2014 and charged with 21 alleged fraud offences between June and October 2014 before he disappeared
  • Felix Rooney, 35, who police believe conned a 72-year-old man out of £100,000 for repairs to his roof

The compilation of the list is the result of a new task-force, launched by the government in February in response to the growing problem of fraud and cyber-crime.

The taskforce brings together law enforcement agencies, the financial sector and the government.

Donald Toon, director of the NCA's economic crime command, said: "The annual losses to the UK from fraud are estimated to be more than £190bn.

"Behind this headline figure lie the actions of criminals like the wanted fraudsters highlighted in this appeal, who have caused distress and loss to people and businesses up and down the country."

The Crime Survey of England and Wales, which is published on Thursday, is expected to show that fraud is the most prevalent crime in the UK.

Preliminary figures released in October 2015 found that there had been 5.1 million incidents of fraud in England and Wales in the previous year, affecting an estimated one in 12 adults and making it the most common form of crime.

Last month a report estimated the annual cost of fraud in the UK to be £193bn.

Update 11 January 2017: The National Crime Agency says it is no longer pursuing Alexia Thomas over the matters outlined in its list.

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