There have been two sightings of Britain’s most wanted fraudster who went on the run after seducing a woman for cash while masquerading as a MI6 agent, police have revealed.
Mark Acklom, 44, allegedly posed as a spy and a Swiss banker in a bid to seduce a 55-year-old divorcee from Bath, Somerset, before fleecing her out of her £850,000 life savings.
Avon and Somerset Police have today claimed he has been sighted twice in Europe, after going on the run with his wife and their two daughters.
Conman Mark Acklom is on the run with his wife, Maria Yolanda Ros Rodriguez, 47, and their two daughters, aged six and eight
After a televison police appeal, the force said in a statement: ‘Information has been provided relating to two potential sightings in Europe which we are now actively following up with the help of our partner law enforcement agencies.
‘The appeal is still active and we’re still extremely keen for sightings or information about Acklom’s whereabouts to be reported.’
They failed to reveal whereabouts he was seen.
The career criminal disappeared when his victim went to police and was thought to have gone on the run in Spain but has also been seen in Geneva, Switzerland.
Avon and Somerset Police believe he is with his wife, Maria Yolanda Ros Rodriguez, 47, and their two daughters, aged six and eight.
Detectives have said the yoga teacher could be helping him live in plain sight – as an ordinary family man.
On-the-run British fraudster Mark Acklom (right) was pictured another fugitive Jose Estevez in September
The force has released a photograph of Acklom’s wife, who is also known to use aliases including Yolianda Ross, Maria Long and Mary Moss, and said she may be working as a yoga teacher or attending yoga classes.
Both Acklom and his wife have previously set up property businesses and police believe their daughters may be attending a fee-paying school.
Britain’s most wanted conman: Mark Acklom
Acklom has been on the Crimestoppers Most Wanted list for nearly a year, accused of fleecing a woman of her £850,000 life savings.
He met Gloucestershire clothes shop boss Carolyn Woods, 57, in 2012 and over several years persuaded her to hand over her life savings
The swindle was the culmination of a lifetime of fraud which began when he was just 16 and posed as a City stockbroker to secure a six-figure mortgage.
Detective Inspector Adam Bunting said: ‘Mark Acklom is a convincing fraudster and we’re working hard to locate him as soon as possible.
‘We believe he’ll be with his wife, Maria Rodriguez, and their two young daughters, who we know, up until last year’s appeal, were enrolled in El Limonar International School in the Murcia area of Spain.
‘In the days following the appeal he removed his children from the school and, together with his wife, he disappeared.
‘We have significant concerns about the children’s well-being given they were uprooted, with no notice, from their school, friends and family. It’s highly likely Acklom will have placed his children in another fee-paying school.’
Police are appealing to British expats with children in private international schools, who may have noticed the recent arrival of a family from Spain.
In September it emerged Acklom has been seen in Switzerland with Jose Estevez, another fugitive who is wanted by Spanish authorities for defrauding government departments in Vigo, a city in the north-west of the country.
According to Interpol, Estevez was behind the largest ever scam on the Galician treasury, after submitting £10million (11million euros) in false invoices.
Conman Mark Acklom, 43, alias Marc Ros Rodriguez, who is on the run in Spain, pictured with his wife Maria Yolanda Ros Rodriguez, known as Yolanda Ros, in Ascot’s Royal Enclosure
Estevez (left) and Acklom (right) have both been on the run for more than a year
Detectives have said Acklom’s yoga teacher wife could be helping him live in plain sight – as an ordinary family man
A photo of the wanted pair sipping coffee together in Geneva was obtained by Sky News , who have been told Europe’s lack of internal borders have turned the continent into a ‘huge playground’ for criminals.
Former Metropolitan Police border control officer Chris Hobbs told the channel: ‘[You’ve] got the whole of Europe in which to operate in, work in and hide in. And obviously you can’t expect local police to know everybody who is wanted in Europe.
Acklom is accused of promising to marry Carolyn Woods and tricked her into handing over the huge sum of money
‘They will know the odds of them actually being detected anywhere in Europe are pretty remote.’
Acklom, now 44, first tried his hand at fraud aged just 16. While studying in Eastbourne, he stole his father’s gold Amex card, posed as a stockbroker and hired jets to fly his friends around Europe.
He even convinced a building society to give him a mortgage of nearly £500,000 which he used to buy a small mansion in London.
He was later jailed three times in Spain for a variety of fraud offences and used the name Marc Ros Rodriguez.
He then returned to the UK and, over the course of a year-long relationship, reportedly promised to marry Carolyn Woods and tricked her into handing over the huge sum of money.
Ms Woods said of their romance: ‘He has a great presence and charisma, he exudes confidence and the air around him was electric. I was caught up in a whirlwind of excitement.
‘One of the most extraordinary things he told me was that it was all a cover and he was an MI6 agent. It sounds very far-fetched, but he convinced me it was true.’
She added: ‘I had just sold my house and I offered him a loan of £26,000. In the end I lent him everything I had.’
Carolyn Woods previously told how she was ‘caught up in the excitement’ of Acklom’s claims
But before they could walk down the aisle, he vanished with the cash – leaving Ms Woods emotionally and financially ruined and on the brink of suicide.
The National Crime Agency’s website states Acklom is ‘wanted by Avon & Somerset Police on suspicion of fraud by false representation’.
If you have any information about his whereabouts you can call Avon and Somerset Police or independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or their non-traceable anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org