Italian George Clooney fraudsters arrested in Thailand

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This handout from the Crime Suppression Division of the Royal Thai Police taken on June 15, 2019 and released on June 16, 2019 shows Italian national Francesco Galdelli (C) after he was arrested on the outskirts of Pattaya.Image copyright
CRIME SUPPRESSION DIVISION/ ROYAL THAI POLICE

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The two were arrested on the outskirts of Pattaya in Thailand

Two Italians accused of posing as US actor George Clooney to promote a fashion business have been arrested in Thailand after years on the run.

Francesco Galdelli, 58, and Vanja Goffi, 45 have been wanted on an Interpol red notice since 2013.

The Hollywood star sued them and in a 2010 trial in Italy testified against them, saying they had fraudulently used his name.

They are also accused of a series of other scams and frauds in Italy.

They had fled their home country to avoid arrest and had been dubbed the Italian Bonnie and Clyde after the legendary US gangster couple.

Image copyright
CRIME SUPPRESSION DIVISION/ ROYAL THAI POLICE

Image caption

According to police, the accused admitted to using Mr Clooney’s name

The two were arrested on Saturday in a joint operation of Thai and Italian authorities on the outskirts of the Thai city of Pattaya, Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division said on Sunday.

“During interrogation, Francesco confessed to claiming to be George Clooney and opening a clothes business to trick people into sending money,” news agency AFP said citing Thai police.

The pair had been living in Thailand since 2014 according to authorities. That year Mr Galdelli had been arrested but escaped during his trial.

According to Italian media, the two sustained their life in Thailand by selling fake Rolex watches online.

They will be charged for overstaying their visas before extradition proceedings begin, police said.



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