EXCLUSIVE By James Bryce
A BRIT is fighting to clear his name after becoming the victim of a clear case of mistaken identity.
Police are convinced that Alan Raymond Bates is actually Raymond Dennis Bates, who the Olive Press exposed as a property fraudster three years ago.
They have now ordered the graphic designer from Oxford to appear in court to answer a string of fraud charges.
And, to make matters worse, it is a four hour round trip.
Bates’ problems began after he registered for his official NIE number with police in Vera, Almeria, last week.
Two days later he had a knock on his door from officers insisting that he had to turn up in court next week in a ‘serious fraud inquiry’.
In an Orwellian nightmare, his lawyer insists he has no choice but to attend the court in Orgiva, despite being a clear case of mistaken identity.
“It’s very scary and very heavy handed,” Bates told the Olive Press. “And even worse, my lawyer says it may be difficult to clear my name.”
One of the main problems, is the apparent lack of information held by the police about the man they actually want to speak to.
Curiously this would be the same Raymond Dennis Bates, who the Olive Press managed to track down to a leafy surburban street in Southend, Essex, this week.
This Raymond Bates had fled Spain after his company Mediterraneo Estates failed to finish a development in Granada province, allegedly leaving investors half a million euros out of pocket.
The scheme in the village of El Golco was dubbed ‘illegal’ by the authorities and the firm was wound up in 2008 without giving refunds to any of its mostly British investors.
His namesake is furious to be linked to the case.
He said: “The police have simply come up with a match for someone they need to get to court. I am Alan Raymond Bates and they are looking for Raymond Dennis Bates, apparently that’s near enough as far as they are concerned,” he said.
“They are just happy to go along with the first name that came out of the system but they should be satisfying themselves that they’ve got the right guy.”
He added: “It’s difficult to prove I’m not him as they have no NIE or passport for him and what’s worse is that his physical description is very similar to mine.”