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.”
If the Spanish police are doing their job correctly, they should contact British interpol to get further details to make sure they have the right man. If this man is denying he is not their man, From UK they need passport information and do a search in UK for the correct named suspect. Sounds like they are wanting the easiest way for them to get a conviction. I would have thought this is against human rights.
“I would have thought this is against human rights.”
Spain in not a good place to be then, Anne.
I am sure once the proceedure is srtarted it should be relativly easy to prove this person is not the same person they are searching….after all hundreds of brits have the surname bates so they must have a system for finding the right one ……she says hopefully and without a lot of confidence
Mr. Bates’ experience is not without precedent. A couple of years ago a fraudster had to declare in Estepona court. for whatever reason he gave the court the names of his business associates. A totally innocent Englishman living in England with a holiday home in Almeria found himself arrested when he landed in Almeria. He spent a weekend in custody before being released by the court on the Monday. He had the same name as one of the men on the list and presumably the court ordered all of them to be picked up if they entered Spain.
This unfortunate man was a regular visitor and sometimes he waltzed through passport control and on others he was arrested. He instructed lawyers and was given details of the National Police involved and over time it was all sorted out. It cost him money and a few days in the cells.
surely there is a person or various persons who were taken in by this fraud that actually saw the real culprit…namely R.D. Bates… and thus who could identify said ???????????????????
What confidence does this inspire in Spanish legal system?
no one not even spanish have confidence in the legal system here … its a joke
basically arrest anyone who could possibly be the person and let them wait in the cells …. in case they might have done something ….
dont even think about compensation …. just be lucky your out and free(ish)