Grenfell Tower fraud accused from Beckenham ‘pretended family died in blaze’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:00 30 June 2017

Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building on Wednesday morning. David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building on Wednesday morning. David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

He appeared in court on Friday

A 52-year-old man from Beckenham pretended his family died in the Grenfell Tower fire to get almost £10,000 from the victim relief fund, a court has heard.

Anh Nhu Nguyen claimed that he lived in the 24-storey Kensington block and his wife and son had died in the blaze, it is said.

He allegedly conned charities and Kensington and Chelsea Council out of almost £10,000 by posing as a victim of the disaster for almost two weeks.

The Beckenham Road resident was given a hotel room, clothing, food, electrical items and cash after he went to Westway Sports Centre, which had been set up as a relief hub, claiming to have lost all his possessions.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday charged with two counts of fraud by false representation.

Nguyen, of Beckenham, south-east London, gave no indication of plea to the charges and has been remanded in custody.

The case was committed to Southwark Crown Court for a hearing on July 28.

Police announced this week the full death toll from the devastating high-rise fire will not be revealed until next year, with det supt Fiona McCormack saying the force was “many months from being able to provide a number that we believe accurately represents the total loss of life,”

She added: “Only after we have completed the search and recovery operation - which will take until the end of the year - and then months afterwards, when experts have carried out the identification process, will we be in a position to tell you who has died.

“What I can say is that we still believe around 80 people to be either dead or sadly missing and I must presume that they are dead.”

Following on from the tragedy, Bromley council has confirmed nine high-rise apartments in the borough, all of which are over six storeys, are not thought to have the cladding which covered Grenfell Tower.

The material has been criticised since the inferno, for appearing to spread the flames and failing safety checks.

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