Fugitive is held by police in Thailand

Paul Ridden
Paul Ridden

A FUGITIVE who fled the UK after being bailed in connection with a string of offences has been arrested 6,000 miles away in Thailand.

Paul Ridden, 58, was first arrested earlier this year and questioned over 10 counts of fraud after allegedly illegally subletting 40 properties in Eastbourne and making thousands of pounds over a two-year period.

However, he skipped bail back in April and fled overseas – leading him to be placed on a wanted list by the international division of the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Earlier this week though, police in the Thai town of Chalong confirmed the Eastbourne man had been seized after overstaying his visa and is now expected to be returned to the UK.

The spokesman for the force said later on Wednesday, “He stayed here last night for overstaying his tourist visa and was sent to court today. We have sent all information to the British Embassy in Bangkok.”

The Phuket Gazette reported on Tuesday that a fellow expat had reported Ridden for cheating him out of money, believed to be in the region of 75,000 baht (around £1,566).

He was also wanted for questioning over a car rental scam which involved subletting cars and scooters to tourists.

Detective Inspector Paul Phelps of Sussex Police said, “Mr Ridden is wanted by Sussex Police for offences of fraud.

“Should he return to the UK he will be arrested. I am not aware of him being detained in Thailand by the Thai authorities, and it has not been at our request, but clearly we would welcome their assistance in his return to the UK.”