North West Wales

Gwynedd man tracked to Africa, posing as doctor, priest

A convicted conman has been tracked to Africa where he has spent the last seven years posing as a doctor, without any medical qualifications, BBC Wales has learned.

Ken Jones, originally of Caernarfon, Gwynedd, is confronted by S4C's Taro Naw about claims he poses as a priest.

When challenged in Belgium, Mr Jones, 60, claimed the programme was "running away from the truth".

It is the second time since 1995 Taro Naw has caught up with Mr Jones.

In 1995, the BBC Wales-produced programme discovered that in Britain he had been convicted numerous times, mostly charges of theft and obtaining money by deception, before he moved to Canada.

There he conned his own wife, the programme found.

Christian community

A senior immigration officer in the United States then described him as "the best conman I have ever encountered in my entire career".

This time, Taro Naw reveals he has been posing as a doctor in Africa for the last seven years, without any medical qualifications.

Jones has also been running his own charity, Luke's Fund, in Kenya since 2003.

BBC Wales journalist Marc Edwards travelled to Africa, and to the Netherlands, to confront Mr Jones - whose full name is Kenner Elias Jones - about his life.

Edwards said: "In 2003, once again facing fraud charges in Britain, Ken Jones fled to Kenya in east Africa.

"Claiming to be a priest, he found shelter in a Christian community where he even conducted church services."

He also set up a charity Luke's Fund, and the programme found he conned a prominent Spanish medical foundation that was in Africa, helping the sick and needy.

"He tricked several individuals and took their money. Worst of all he pretended to be an experienced doctor and took children into his care," said Edwards.

Catholic brother David Mahoney was one of the people he deceived.

'Devastated'

''Most of the time he surrounded himself with truly trained medical personnel - nurses, doctors, who did his work for him - so I think he was clever," Brother Mahoney said.

"[He was] not going too far and staying out of trouble.

"Many people do good here... he got talented people to volunteer their time and didn't pay them for doing it... he did a lot of damage,'' he added.

Arie Taal, who lives in Amsterdam, said Mr Jones deceived his sister Jesje Taal, who gave him thousands of euros at the end of 2009.

"I feel that this man has betrayed many people who trusted him... the psychological effect of being taken for a ride can be devastating," said Mr Taal.

"We think people should be warned about Ken Jones - you should not believe everything you hear and not from a slick talker like Ken Jones," he added.

When the programme confronts him in a Belgian street Mr Jones tells Edwards, in Welsh: "I'm not running away. I have told you to come to Africa to see for yourselves what has been happening - you are the ones running away from the truth."

Taro Naw is on S4C at 2130 BST on Monday, 13 September.