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Mark Acklom: Britain’s most notorious conman extradited to Spain days after early prison release | UK News

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Notorious conman Mark Acklom has been extradited to Spain, days after being freed early from a British prison sentence.

Instead of serving out the rest of his UK sentence free but monitored on licence – and under the severe restrictions of a serious crime prevention order – Acklom is in a Spanish jail.

Acklom fled Spain in 2016, midway through a three-year fraud sentence, after being given temporary release while he applied for parole. At the time he went on the run, he was wanted for various frauds in three countries.

Sky News tracked him down in Switzerland, from where he was extradited to the UK in 2019 and jailed for the romance scam of Cotswold divorcee Carolyn Woods, from whom he stole £350,000.

He had wooed her, posing as a millionaire Swiss banker and MI6 agent, promised to marry her, but then vanished after fleecing her of all her money.

He had served barely two years of his five years and eight months sentence for defrauding Ms Woods before he was freed on licence last month.

Within days of being released, he was flown secretly to Madrid after agreeing to be extradited, Sky News can reveal.

His UK licence period should have lasted more than two years, during which time he would have been required to behave, stay in regular touch with a probation officer, and not travel abroad without permission, though his extradition makes all that redundant.

The Ministry of Justice said Acklom, 48, was being allowed to serve the UK licence period during his new Spanish sentence, which a court official in Murcia told Sky News would last until October 2023.

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A story of love and deception by a conman

If he’s freed in Spain before the end of the UK licence period, which is likely, the British authorities will expect the Spanish to send him back to the UK.

If Spain refuses, the UK could ask for his extradition, but there is no precedent for such a move and he could simply stay in Spain where his Spanish wife lives with their two daughters. Acklom is a fluent Spanish speaker.

The five-year serious crime prevention order, a rare sanction imposed by a UK judge before Acklom’s release, forces him to reveal his income, savings, assets and business dealings, close any foreign bank accounts, stop using false names, and tell police where he is living.

But it applies to the UK only and would not restrict Acklom’s activities in Spain or anywhere else in the world.

Mark Acklom
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Acklom fled Spain in 2016 midway through a three-year fraud sentence

In his absence, UK police are still pursuing Acklom’s assets, though a scheduled Proceeds of Crime Act hearing in Bristol was postponed on the day he was extradited.

His victim, Ms Woods, 62, said: “I’d hoped in the future I might see some of that money, but the chances are very remote indeed. I don’t think there is any chance at all.”

Acklom is now in a Madrid jail, where he must complete the rest of the sentence imposed in 2015 for conning two Spanish brothers into paying him £200,000 as deposits on two flats he claimed to own in London.

His Spanish victims’ lawyer, Miguel Pouget, said Acklom’s fraudster partner, who was jailed with him in 2015, had already paid back some of the money she stole, and he still hoped to retrieve more from Acklom.

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Archaeologists unearth mummy in Peru estimated to be over 800 years old | World News

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A mummy estimated to be around 800 years old has been discovered on Peru’s central coast.

The mummified remains were said to be of a person from the culture that developed between the coast and mountains of the country, before the rise of the Inca Empire in the 1400s.

The mummy’s gender is not yet known, but it was discovered east of Lima, the capital of the south American country.

The mummy, whose gender was not identified, was discovered in the Lima region
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The mummy, whose gender was not identified, was discovered near Lima

Archaeologist Pieter Van Dalen Luna, who worked on the excavation, added the remains are of a person who lived in the high Andean region of the country.

He said: “The main characteristic of the mummy is that the whole body was tied up by ropes and with the hands covering the face, which would be part of the local funeral pattern.

“Radiocarbon dating will give a more precise chronology.”

The mummy was found inside an underground structure that was located on the outskirts of Lima.

There were also ceramics, vegetable remains and stone tools inside the tomb.

The mummified remains were of a person from the culture that developed between the coast and mountains  of Peru
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The mummified remains were of a person from the culture that developed between the coast and mountains of Peru

Peru is home to hundreds of archaeological sites from cultures that developed before and after the Inca Empire.

The empire dominated the southern part of South America, from southern Ecuador and Colombia to central Chile.

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Channel deaths: Kurdish woman who died during Channel crossing told fiance she was making journey just before boarding boat | World News

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A young Kurdish woman who drowned on Wednesday in the English Channel didn’t tell her fiance she was about to board a boat to make the crossing, until the last minute.

The 24-year-old – also known as Mariam – died along with 26 others, when their flimsy raft ran into difficulties mid-crossing.

Baran Nouri Mohammedameen didn't tell her fiancé she was about to board a boat to make the crossing until the last minute
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Baran Nouri Mohammedameen didn’t tell her fiance she was about to board a boat to make the crossing until the last minute

The incident has caused renewed political disagreement on both sides of the Channel.

Speaking at the family’s home in Soran, northern Iraq, Baran’s cousin and childhood friend told Sky News how much the two adored one another and that she wanted to join him in Europe.

“They loved each other so much, they were love birds,” Iman Hassan told us.

“I’ve never seen anyone like them. I would tell my husband, look at him, buy roses like him! They loved each other and were so respectful to each other.

Iman Hassan spoke about her cousin and childhood friend's love for her fiance
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Iman Hassan spoke about her cousin and childhood friend’s love for her fiance

“She even didn’t tell him that she was going this way [by sea], he was trying to find a better way. So what she did, before she got on the ship was take a photo and say ‘I’m coming to you’. They loved each other so, so much.”

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Sky News spent the day with family, relatives and friends mourning at the house in Kurdistan.

We were shown the last GPS location for the boat, midway between Calais and the Kent coast. That was the moment that her fiance, who was tracking her journey over, realised something might have happened.

With tears in his eyes, Baran’s younger brother Mohammed said he will remember the last time they hugged.

He said: “My last memory with her which will stay in my head forever is that we were at Erbil International Airport. It was the last time I said goodbye to her and I hugged her.

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“Baran was a loved one in the family and in general. Anyone that has ever seen her or met her once can’t forget her for sure, they couldn’t. And to me, she was a sister and a friend. I am deeply saddened that she left with such a tragic accident.”

Despite their loss, the family showed no sign of anger or blame. Baran’s father said that God took her and explained why she wanted to go to the UK.

Baran's younger brother Mohammed recalled the last time they hugged
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Baran’s younger brother Mohammed recalled the last time they hugged

He said: “They chose Britain because it’s a good place, it’s secure… people move or migrate there for their own good, but it was God’s fate that it doesn’t work out.

“I ask these countries, especially the UK and the European countries, to help Kurdish migrants, and migrants from other countries and respect them.”

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Channel deaths: Migrants at Dunkirk camp trying to get to UK rocked by news of those who died making crossing | World News

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“They are like our family” Arsalan tells me, as the name of the first victim of the Channel crossing reaches the camp at Dunkirk.

Arsalan, who is from Iran, never met any of those who died on Wednesday but says there is “no difference” between him and them.

He says all anyone at the camp wants is a “simple life”.

Arsalan, who is from Iran, never met any of those who died on Wednesday but says there is "no difference" between him and them.
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Arsalan, who is from Iran, never met any of those who died on Wednesday but says there is ‘no difference’ between him and them
Migrants sit around a fire
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Migrants sit around a fire

The tragedy has changed Arsalan’s mind about travelling on a small boat, saying he won’t “play with his life” but is still determined to find another way to get to the UK.

He has been at this makeshift camp for a week after “escaping a life full of dangers” in Iran.

Asked why he didn’t stay in another European country, he said: “There is humanity” in the UK, adding, “people are protected”.

Not far away we meet Pavel, who’s with his three younger siblings aged four, 10 and 12.

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Pavel says: “Life is very hard, we can’t sleep.”

He says he wants to go to England where his uncle lives a “good life”.

People line up to get food from charity workers
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People line up to get food from charity workers
Parvel talks to sky news
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Pavel talks to Sky News

“It’s raining and it is very cold. We definitely want to go to England because we don’t have anywhere to live,” he added.

Pavel also says he does not have a plan.

His mother Shadan is emotional when we ask about the prospect of taking her family in a small boat.

She says: “It’s England that is my love. For seven years nobody has looked after us but now we are going to England, God willing”.

Shadan shows me inside the tent where her family of eight sleep, telling me she hugs her children at night to keep them warm.

The family arrived at Dunkirk last night and the floor of their tent is already soaking wet.

Despite Wednesday’s tragedy Pavel says the family could cross the Channel as soon as next week.

He says: “l am big enough that l can take it but when the children say they are cold what can l do”.

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