A bogus policeman stopped a Ukrainian refugee in the centre of Alicante and accused her of selling cocaine before stealing €1,000 in cash.

The woman, 64, was taking photographs close to the gardens of the Provincial Council building when the man approached her.

Speaking aggressively in English and Spanish, he told her that he was a Guardia Civil officer.

He demanded to search her backpack because she was suspected of being a drug dealer.

The scared women let him rifle through the backpack, but he found nothing of any value inside.

He ordered her to open her coat and spotted a bum bag hidden under her sweater.

The fake copper removed €1,000 in notes and leafed his way through them in his apparent search for cocaine.

His sham act included having a phone conversation where he appeared to be reporting the search to his superiors.

The man distracted the woman sufficiently to give the impression that he had put back the money.

He even ordered her to meet him at the same spot at the same time the following day to show him her personal identification papers.

When the frightened woman returned home, she discovered her money had been stolen.

She went to the Policia Nacional to report the theft.

The conman, with an extensive criminal record for similar deceptions, was identified and tried to evade arrest when visited by officers, after being identified via security camera footage.

The police are investigating whether the 46-year-old Romanian national has committed other recent crimes.

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