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Home NEWCASTLE An Albanian fraudster who tried to trick police into believing he was Italian was rumbled – by a bilingual custody officer

An Albanian fraudster who tried to trick police into believing he was Italian was rumbled – by a bilingual custody officer


Devious Kleris Harizi was behind the wheel of an uninsured Vauxhall Astra when he was spotted by police in Gateshead in May.

When the 22-year-old was confronted by police, he presented them with an Italian passport but had no other documentation.

He was placed under arrest and taken into police custody where he told Custody Sergeant Mark Forshaw his name was ‘Carlos Sorrento’.

But the officer was immediately suspicious about his account – and in what proved to be a stroke of bad luck for Harizi, the Sergeant could also speak Italian.

Sergeant Forshaw asked him a string of questions about his homeland but the suspect could not understand, or answer.

The Albanian fraudster was charged with driving offences and providing a false passport before he was jailed for six months by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court.

Today (Wednesday) the bilingual officer who unravelled the elaborate cover story has revealed his holidays to Rome left him with more than just a tan.

“When he was brought in he was speaking no English. I asked him what his name was and the traffic officer said he had an Italian ID card,” Sgt Forshaw said.

“I have been to Italy a few times and he sounded as Italian as I do. He was also claiming his name was Carlos Sorrento which didn’t sound right.

“Sorrento is a place in Italy and also a car make so I suspected he may have made it up, and decided to try and speak to him in some of the Italian I know.

“I asked him a couple of questions and he just looked dumbstruck. I told him he wasn’t Italian and his head and shoulders dropped.

“It was just his luck that he probably came face-to-face with the only custody sergeant who could speak the language of the country he was claiming to be from.”

Harizi, of Bensham Avenue, Gateshead, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on September 21 where he was jailed for six months.

At a previous hearing he had admitted possessing a fraudulent article, obstructing police, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and using a vehicle without insurance.

The fraudster, who arrived in the UK in 2017, now faces being deported back to Albanian when he is released from prison.

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