Britain’s most wanted fraudster Mark Acklom is on the run with a new identity, Sky News can reveal.
Acklom, who has used many aliases in the past, changed his name to Marc Long to get a legitimate passport and a Swiss residency permit.
The serial conman is the subject of a European Arrest Warrant which is not recognised in non-EU Switzerland, though there is an extradition treaty between the Swiss and the British.
The passport and residency permit were obtained in 2014, sometime after he fled the UK, and both are still valid.
He rented an apartment above a shop in a drab northern suburb of Zurich, where we met a resident who helped him set up the accommodation as a favour to a mutual business associate.
The man told us: “I saw him when he picked up his correspondence, but he never lived here.
“The last time I saw him was three years ago when he was arrested, for some credit card allegation I think, but the police released him.
“I looked at his correspondence and everything was paid, so the arrest must have been for something else.”
Acklom, 44, is on the run with his wife and two young daughters, suspected of fleecing British woman Carolyn Woods of her £850,000 life savings after promising to marry her.
Sky News can reveal that he is also being investigated over other allegations.
Detective Inspector Adam Bunting, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “There could be more charges. We are still investigating a number of incidents and reports to do with Mark Acklom and his activities in the Bath and Bristol areas going back to 2012 and 2013.”
Acklom has changed his name officially several times over the years and used various aliases.
He once wrote to a business associate: “Regarding names etc. Under English law it’s a normal procedure to change ones name…”
Architect David Hadfield said he rented his luxury Bath home to Acklom – then calling himself Mark Moss – and had to chase him for payment.
When Acklom vanished, Mr Hadfield was still owed around £5,000 for design work Acklom had commissioned from him, so he hired a private detective to investigate.
Mr Hadfield said: “I didn’t lose much, but I was worried that others might become bigger victims. The detective and I believed he was building up to a huge fraud on someone. He was such a strange guy, a pathological liar who can’t help himself.
“I Googled the name Mark Moss and couldn’t find a thing about him and he tried to convince me he had paid £12m to wipe his identity from the internet.”
Mr Hadfield passed the investigator’s report to police, around the time that Acklom met Ms Woods in nearby Gloucestershire.
He added: “The police showed little interest, at least not for a long time. They have been to see me since and taken a statement.”
After Acklom left Bath, two demands arrived for outstanding payments for his daughters’ private school fees, for more than £10,000.
:: If you have information about the whereabouts of Mark Acklom and are in the UK, contact Avon and Somerset Police by calling 101 and giving the reference number 7429713, visit avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact-us, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.