Dischuffed Fraudster Mr. Paul Blanchard appears in court.

Started by TimeshareTalk, February 06, 2020, 10:58:22

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Mr Paul Blanchard claims - a Spanish gang forced him to incriminate himself

The Condemned fraudster from York UK is facing extradition to Spain over claims he acted as the financial Whizz kid now claims Spanish authorities unlawfully forced him to incriminate himself.

Paul Blanchard's barrister explained to the court that police in Spain recommended he should leave the island of Tenerife for fear of attack or assassination by a businessman who allegedly laundered money through timeshare sales and fraudulent holiday packages.

Blanchard now aged 74, from Fulford, faces allegations that he assisted criminals in Tenerife and to launder and invest their ill-gotten gains between 1999 and 2001.

By way of a European Arrest Warrant issued in April 2018, he is fighting extradition at Westminster Magistrates Court UK.

In fighting the extradition, he claims statements he freely gave to Spanish police in 2001 where given, without a lawyer being present or with the assistance of an interpreter. The statement made by him was done so in an effort to help them prosecute what he believed were the ring leaders and are now being used to incriminate him (almost 20 years on).

Blanchard supplied information (which has come back to bite him) a businessman who allegedly laundered money via a collection of timeshare sales decks and fraudulent holiday packages.

Blanchard now claims the Spanish authorities are using these freely given statements in order to build a stronger case against the businessman and to prosecute him as a co-defendant.

Blanchard claims he was a corporate consultant specialising in offshore services
 and admits he was jailed in the UK in 2008 for his part in a series of linked frauds.

Those linked frauds included passport fraud, laundering £375,000 and trying to pilfer about £4.30 million from a London bank with the intention of transferring it to Spain.

If convicted of these new charges, Blanchard could face 15 years porridge in a Spanish jail.

At the extradition hearing on the 5th of February 2020oday his senior barrister QC, said 'his client's status as a witness was proved by the fact Spanish agents had given him their personal phone numbers to help keep him safe'.

He added; that one police officer had recommended Blanchard leave Tenerife for fear of an attack or assassination attempts and there was "overwhelming evidence" that the Spanish police were prepared to "bend the rules" in their investigations.

"This was extradition warrant was then claimed to be an attempt to throw Blanchard under the bus to keep the case against a bigger fish alive,".
Counsel for Blanchard went on to say Spain's extradition request was "infused with bad faith" however "The Spanish insist that the statement was given voluntarily.

He said the Spanish had fundamentally and irretrievably breached Article 6 of the Human Rights Act - Blanchard's right to a fair trial.

At a previous hearing in December, Blanchard said he had handed the Spanish police physical evidence, including a 20kg package of documents sent from the UK.

He also said that on one of his trips to Tenerife, local police were so concerned about his safety so they provided him with a security detail.

Blanchard told the court he also gave information to officers in 2004 about possible terrorist activity, including the names of two people who committed the July 7 bombings in London the following year.
He claimed his relationship with the Spanish police deteriorated in 2004 after he told other officers in Malaga on the Costa Del Sol, about his role in providing intelligence.

Blanchard was arrested in York in 2018 by North Yorkshire Police for his alleged involvement in the scam and the Spanish police have not corroborated his claims about any intelligence role.

Judge Tan Ikram is due to return his ruling on the extradition request on the 4th of March this year.

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