A fugitive conman wanted over an alleged £850,000 lonely hearts scam has been arrested in Switzerland.
Mark Acklom, 45, was on a list of Britain’s most wanted criminal suspects believed to have fled abroad.
Avon & Somerset Police began investigating Acklom after Carolyn Woods, 61, alleged he posed as a Swiss banker during their year-long relationship and tricked her into lending him her £850,000 savings for renovation work at a number of properties in Bath.
Ms Woods said Acklom, who she met in 2012 at a boutique clothes shop where she worked in Gloucestershire also said he was an MI6 agent.
A European Arrest Warrant was obtained and Acklom was publicised under the National Crime Agency’s Operation Captura as one of Britain’s 96 most wanted criminals living abroad.
He was tracked down by National Crime Agency officers to a luxury apartment in Zurich on Saturday night and arrested. Authorities say he was living there with his wife and two children.
The raid followed a suspected sighting of Acklom in Geneva last May.
Extradition proceedings have now begun to return the former public schoolboy to the UK.
Ian Cruxton, Head of International Operations for the NCA, said: “The hunt started in Spain but as soon as intelligence indicated he had moved to Switzerland, we utilised our assets there and worked closely with the Swiss authorities and Avon & Somerset Police to track him down.
“I’m really pleased for Carolyn Woods as she’s been waiting a long time for news of his arrest. We have a well-established extradition treaty with the Swiss authorities and court proceedings will now begin.”
Senior Investigating Officer Det Insp Adam Bunting, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “The arrest of Mark Acklom is the direct result of the co-ordinated efforts of our officers, the NCA and the Swiss authorities, and we’re grateful for the professionalism and expertise of all those involved in this international search.
“Acklom thought he could continue to evade capture by moving around Europe but we were determined to locate him and bring him back to this country.
“We’ve updated the victim of the fraud offences on the latest developments and will continue to work with the relevant authorities to ensure he is extradited as soon as possible.”
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