A despicable con artist from London was hauled into jail after his plot to make a quick buck off the back of the Grenfell tower fire – which killed upwards of 80 people and destroyed the homes of hundreds more – fell flat on its face.
The scammer, who has yet to be publicly identified, waltzed into a police station in the wake of the June 14 blaze to claim that his wife and son had perished and all his belongings had been destroyed, the Bromley Times reported.
He sought financial support and housing aid, both of which had been extended to actual victims of the fire. However, a police investigation quickly determined that there were a number of problematic elements to the swindler’s tale.
Multiple Grenfell residents confirmed that he never lived at the apartment which he claimed as his address. That alone would have been evidence enough to raise eyebrows had police not also determined that the scammer did not have a wife nor a child and was actually living in Bromley at the time of the fire.
Metropolitan police superintendent Fiona McCormack released a statement condemning the actions of those who would try to profit from the tragedy.
“The distress and suffering caused to so many families and loved ones that night is harrowing,” she said. “That night people lost their homes, all their possessions and tragically their families and loved ones. The focus of all of us should be on supporting victims and families, recovering loved ones from Grenfell Tower and investigating the fire.”
“I have made it clear that we are not interested in investigating things such as sub-letting or immigration matters as I want their help – and do not want there to be any hidden victims of this tragedy,” she concluded. “However, we will robustly investigate any information about anyone who seeks to capitalize on the suffering of so many.”