1 Apr, 2011 @ 09:30
1 min read

Expat fraudster does five star runner in Marbella

EXCLUSIVE by Amie Keeley

HE arrived at the hotel pleading with an old friend who worked there that he needed just one night’s accomodation after finding his apartment roof had fallen in.

But, after eight nights living it up at the five-star Gran Hotel Guadalpin Banus, British expat Alwyn Funke disappeared without paying a penny.

Now, the hotel on the so-called Golden Mile has sent out an appeal, via the Olive Press, to find him.

“We would definitely like to find him,” said hotel manager Victor Villar, confirming that the bill was over 1,500 euros. “The contact numbers and email he gave us do not work and we have no way of locating him.

“I understand he is a well known character here, and used to run a landscaping business so someone should know where he is.”

Funke, who checked into the hotel on March 6, had moved to Spain, the Olive Press can reveal, after being banned as a company director in the UK for 12 years in 1998.

He had been struck off after the gardening company he had inherited from his father, The Flower House Group, continued to trade despite being put into receivership in 1991.

By the time it was struck off, it had 10 insolvent companies with deficiencies totalling nearly two million euros.

The High Court heard how he and his partner Alexe Meddings had misappropriated funds, had misused bank accounts and had inadequate accounting records.

Funke had checked into the hotel after a former gardening colleague had agreed to lend him his credit card number to guarantee the booking.

He told him he had just returned from the UK and had gone to his home in Elviria to find the roof falling in.

Not having any money or credit cards he promised to pay in cash the next day on check out.

But Funke stayed a further seven nights where he was seen enjoying himself and ordering food and drink in the hotel’s restaurants and bars until he left last week.

The Olive Press was unable to contact him as we went to press.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. It would make my day if this crooked pair were arrested. They have been ripping people off on the coast – not just businesses but many individuals. Biggest thieves in Spain … If I see one of them I will let you know. Both as bad as each other

  2. I think this is quite a old story. It must have been some three or four years ago, they live here down the street. A friendly couple with a lttle doggy. Did not have much contact. One day the owner of the house, who went back to his home country, showed up. The huse, a townhouse, not an appartment, had been abandoned an no rent was paid since the deposit. The strange thing was that it looked like they suddenly left. Or were beamed up by a ufo. The bed was not made, dirty clothes laying around, some jewelry still there. I believe even suitcases were still there. As they never returned, the owner put all their stuff in a storage and found a new tennant. God knows where they are. Maby landscaping the desert of dubai, maybe laying underneith….

  3. I have had dealings with Alwyn when I had a bar in Cortijo Blanco in San Pedro. He is a compulsive liar, and he ripped many people off, including me.
    There are many people who would like to get their grubby hands on him.
    He is so brazen that he would not have moved away from the area. I am convinced he would have found another prey, and moved on to them.

  4. So Alwyn is still up to the same tricks! His neighbour comments that this is an old story but he/she probably refers to him pulling this same trick on a previous occasion! The guy is a serial embezzler. Just ask some of the rental car companies, garden centres, plant nurseries, etc. around Marbella! He is your classic confidence trickster, using his ‘charm’ to gain your trust, ultimately leaving you high & dry.

    Note to Amie Keeley: Believe me, you wouldn’t have to probe to deep (i.e. investigate) to find many other of his victims & uncover enough information/material to fill a book!

    And, as the above comment says, he’ll still be living somewhere on the Costa.

  5. u guys are so righteous its unbelievable. do u believe everything you read, are u that ignorant!!!
    alexe meddings hasnt lived in spain for years, alwyn funke lives in spain but this story is completely untrue, go ask the hotel manager for yourselves. as for the rest of you steve elson and jane love, check your facts, your all crooks on the costa del sol anyway, rippin off people one way or another.
    alwyn funke has helped and done a lot of things for other people. if he didnt have a penny to his name he would give u his coat.what about people like his best mate, he stole a sentimental watch and his wife off him. and he was forgiven!
    its very quiet on the way down guys remember that!

  6. This feeble excuse of a man is a con man and about time he was exposed. I have no vendetta, but know this man conned me out of £10.000. I too thought he was charming at first. I do not know of any one who has had dealings with this person , have any thing good to say about him, except best served cold?. Be warned steer clear of this man.

  7. best served cold………..if you would like proof of the hotel bill please come along to the hotel anytime and pick it up. If Funke is such a good mate of yours then perhaps you could pay his bill for him. I’m sure he’ll pay you back when he’s ‘in the money again’!!

  8. Ha Ha exactly, maybe, as Alwyne Funke would give you the ´shirt off his back´, could he give my cousin the €3,000 back he owes him from 2004? Perhaps with interest??

  9. Alwyn is the kindest most generous good natured man I have ever known in my life and I have known him for over 39 years.

    When my parents could not take care of me properly when I was a young boy it was Alwyn who was always there to help :)

    In fact all throughout my young life as a boy, Alwyn was always there to help.

    20 years ago he helped me come to New Zealand to start a new life and since then I lost contact with him.

    I always wondered what happened to Alwyn and when I found these articles on the Olive Press I was shocked ! Firstly, shocked at the very unfortunate life that such a good natured man was now having to live but I was even more shocked how spiteful and hateful most people’s comments are on this site on about Alwyn.

    I am sure it is only because he could not pay that he did not pay. He is a good man going through some difficult times in his life.

    I wish Alwyn all the best and trust that life will again be good to him :)

    It was great to read ‘ best served cold’s ‘ comments … It is obvious he knows the real Alwyn … Who is truly a very kind man :)

    Best Wishes – Jason A Ford

  10. The above comments show a difference of opinion as to whethere or not this felow is a crook – but whatever. For hotel management to take in a guest WITHOUT running his Credit Card or getting CASH IN ADVANCE of check in, just opens them up for “abuse”…. dumb.

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