A MAN has appeared in court accused of fraud after allegedly claiming that he had lost members of his family in the Grenfell Tower fire disaster.
Anh Nhu Nguyen, 52, from Beckenham in Kent was remanded in custody by Westminster Magistrates and is due to appear again at Southwark Crown Court on July 28.
Nguyen, originally from Vietnam, is accused of lying to both the Kensington and Chelsea Council and a series of charities in the aftermath of the huge fire on June 14 which has so far seen 80 people declared officially dead.
He told the authorities that he lived in the block. In the days that followed one of the largest blazes to hit the UK in decades, Mr Nguyen allegedly told officials that his wife and child were dead and he’d lost all his possessions.
He made a claim worth thousands of pounds in both immediate financial support and accommodation.
Magistrates were told that he allegedly turned up at the principal relief centre set up in the hours after the inferno, in Westway Sports Centre, saying “he had lost his wife and son and all his worldly possessions.”
The court further heard that Mr Nguyen was said to have been given £100 on June 18 and a further £260 when he returned on June 21.
He is accused of fraudulently accepting emergency accommodation in the Holiday Inn, running up a bill of around £2,000, and claiming food, clothing, shoes and electronic goods.
The estimated total of the alleged fraud was close to £10,000. In denying Mr Nguyen an application for bail the District Judge,Tan Ikram, said: “This is a particularly serious fraud and could not be more serious in the current environment.”
The accused gave no plea on the two counts of fraud. Subsequent investigations by the Metropolitan Police discovered that not only did Mr Nguyen not even live in Grenfell Tower but did not have a wife or child.