Police release details of country's 10 most wanted alleged con-artists
A rogues' gallery of 10 wanted alleged con-artists has been released, ahead of new crime figures that are expected to reveal the huge scale of fraud in the UK.
Details of the alleged criminals, published on Tuesday by City of London Police and the National Crime Agency, include Alex McKenzie, 33, from London, who is accused of targeting victims using the gay social networking app Scruff, gaining their trust by claiming to work for MI6.
It is claimed he conned two former lovers and one of their parents by taking out credit cards, bank accounts and loans worth a total of £300,000 in their names.
Another is Bollywood film producer Sandeep Arora, 42, from Beckton, east London, who allegedly claimed £4.5 million in VAT and Film Tax rebates for movies that either did not exist or with which he had no involvement.
There is also Bayo Lawrence Anoworin, 41, from Lagos, Nigeria, who is wanted by Lincolnshire Police over an alleged scam by a gang that stole more than £12 million from NHS Trusts in the UK and Guernsey between January 2011 and July 2012.
This comes ahead of annual crime figures due for release by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday, that will include a full year of fraud and cybercrime for the first time.
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.
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 £190 billion. 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.
"Law enforcement cannot tackle this problem alone. It is only by working together, individuals, law enforcement, Government and the private sector that we can protect the UK against fraud.
"It is important that anyone able to provide information on the ten fraudsters we are highlighting today takes the opportunity to pass that information to law enforcement to help bring them to justice."