Thursday, April 4, 2013

Conman Ken proves crime does pay!



The Welsh fugitive conman Kenner Elias Jones, a Walter Mitty character who disappeared two years ago after being tracked down in Portugal, has showed up in Spain, still leading an extraordinary life of fantasy and fraud.
Best known as Ken Jones, he has defrauded charities, religious institutions and hospitals, as well as many companies and individuals, in a criminal career spanning 40 years and involving more than 60 convictions.
In recent months he has been up to his old tricks in the Murcia region of
southeastern Spain. The Guardia Civil in Cartagena say they are aware of Jones staying in local hotels and leaving without paying the bills, but like their counterparts previously in Portugal, they seem unable or unwilling to arrest him.
Jones, 62, ‘collapsed’ in a restaurant and was taken to a district hospital near San Javier where he stayed having tests for six weeks. On being discharged, apparently in good health, he promised to settle the bill of more €26,000 with medical insurance. He had pulled the same stunt in a Portuguese hospital.
Over the past couple of weeks and using the Christian name Elias rather than Kenner or Ken, Jones has been spotted relaxing in the Murcia seaside resort of Santiago de la Ribeira. It is thought he may now be in Valencia, either gadding about or relaxing in hospital.
Charged with stealing thousands of pounds from an employer in the UK, he absconded from Lewes Crown Court in Sussex before his trial 10 years ago. He has been on the run ever since.
Long before that, he had been sentenced in the Old Bailey in London to three years’ imprisonment for committing theft and forgery. Coventry Crown Court sentenced him to 15-months’ jail for obtaining money by deception. He received a further 18-month sentence for deception and fraud from the Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court in South Wales.
Originally from Caernarfon, Gwynedd in North Wales, his colourful career has also included imprisonment and deportation from both Canada and the United States where he was deemed by officials to be “a danger to society.” A senior immigration officer in the US described him as “the best conman I have ever encountered in my entire career.”
Between fleeing the UK in 2003 and turning up in Portugal in 2011, Jones, a.k.a. Kenneth Ngeiwo Hawkins, spent years in Kenya posing as a doctor and administered medicines to children athough he had no medical qualifications. He is still wanted in Kenya for alleged debts of more than US$100,000.
An estate agent in the town of Palmela, south of Lisbon, told me how in 2011 Jones approached him saying he wanted to buy a house in the €400,000 to €600,000 price range. The wily Welshman went on to diddle the agent out of hundreds of euros by saying his foreign credit card was incompatible with the Portuguese system and he needed money urgently for medicine and other vital expenses.
On the understanding that Jones was transferring money from an overseas bank account, a Palmela travel agent handed over tickets worth €2,500 for Jones’ wife and two adopted children to fly into Lisbon from Kenya. The travel agent reported the scam to the Polícia Judiciária but she never got her money.
The return trip to Kenya was paid for by the Cáritas charitable organisation in Sétubal, according to a reliable Palmela source.
After being exposed in Portugal by dogged investigators from the BBC Wales Week In Week Out TV programme, Jones disappeared again and has gone about his wicked ways unreported until now. He is still pretending to be a qualified doctor and an ordained Anglican priest. He tells people he is planning to rejoin his family in Kenya where in 2003 he set up a charity called Luke’s Foundation. Even for the highly imaginative Ken Jones, getting out of Europe may now prove to be difficult: his passport expired at the end of January this year.
Those who have met him say he is a very intelligent, easy-to-talk-to, plausible and likeable person who confesses to multiple lamentable health problems – but then those are normal characteristics in a successful conman.
A full, unexpunged account of his activities over the past 40 years in his own words would make a riveting book – but who would believe it?

* algarvenewswatch will welcome any further accurate, honest information from readers. Please post comments below or send information to lenport@gmail.com. Be assured that sources will remain strictly confidential if that is their wish. 

25 comments:

  1. This man sounds ideal for Finance Minister....

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  2. We had "luck"! Before he could damage us financially, we found out who he is real. When we knew the truth about Ken, we called the police. They only controlled his identity card and he might go. Although we had enough tips that he is searched worldwide, nobody has gone to the trouble of investigatig once more exactly! This was in 2010.
    KEN: I hope, it goes well to you healthwise, because I would like to face to you with pleasure sometime and see to you in the eyes, so that you see in my eyes, what you have done to my family and me!!!

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  3. Kenner,
    why Don't you write a book?.....it would surely be a best-seller.

    Can u say movie-rights?

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  4. When I was on the student union executive at Avery Hill College London in 1973-5 this same Kenner Elias Jones got himself elected as student union president and managed to clear the entire union bank accounts using mickey mouse signatures dieting the summer holidays. Could this be his earliest scam?

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    1. First scam was in Wales even earlier! I have a potted history of this man and cannot understand why he has not served in prison again after his Wormwood Scrubs spell. Many many people have suffered not only financial loss but also faith in people destroyed. Keep alert!

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    2. I knew him as a student at UCNW Bangor.around 1972 He left after a term to look after his mother. Later, other students told me of his thefts from them and suggested this was the real reason.

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  5. As a homeless person living on the streets of Alicante ,Spain i encountered Ken with his convinsing tales but as i had nothing to lose i didnt .I found out thanks to the local salvation army who pass a serious eye thru anyone asking more detailed information on them.A doctor with a highly developed knowledge of catholic teology ,very moralistic and easily enraged about my views(being a zen budhist).He fed me and gave me money.Am i the only person in the world who didnt lose anything to this remarkably odd person.ok, he tried to have me stay in a flat he didnt end up paying ,but i think he didnt expect for me to say "i eat what i cultivate".i still dont know why i said this but it saved me some big problems with the flat owner as he disappeared in september 2012 Only to phone me from Murcia where he was in hospital and having trouble with the social worker in a albergue.i still have his email and i am not oblivous to conversation with him but i only expect him to speak truthfully and i think maybe i ask too much.

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  6. Dear Anonymous from the 3rdof July. In "every" person thr good is! Ken often appears from his good side. He has lived with us, has laughed and cried with us. If all that is not right what is reported about him, why he is on the run? Still today I wait for a sign of life of him! If I hear something about him by media, it is not good. He knows my email and my phone number! What keeps him from contacting us? And tell me: Why he has held email contact with me, after he went and WHY he has spent himself as his wife Florence??? WHY he has told me in the name of Florence, he would have flown back to Africa, would have been fetched there by a good friend at the airport and on the way to his family in the car been shot??? And why does he write me exactly how was the burial close to Bungoma and how many high-ranking politicians and church people have taken part in it? Tell me, how had you felt after such news and how would have your reaction been when you hear in the news and see that he still lives and cheats furthermore good-natured people??? You probably had just a lot of luck!!! If you have contact with Ken, order him best regards from Germany....from the pony court....he already knows

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    1. I would like to make direct contact with the last writer, Anonymous of July 7, 2013 at 10:18am, on the firm understanding that as a professional journalist I will not divulge your contact details or any information you wish to remain confidential. My email address is lenport@gmail.com

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  7. For more on Ken - see this:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-11264420

    and this....

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-13607280

    I met him twice - he'll never change....

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  8. Hey Ken, if you're reading this, do you remember me at the Henderson, I'm Teresa. You were always very good to me although I know now that your generosity was mainly due to the misfortunes of others. I would love to know why you are doing this. I spoke to your mother back in 1978 and I felt sorry for her. I would love to speak to you again as I found you an amazing character but I do remember after you took that overdose and the policeman was waiting outside the hospital door that you said you believe your own lies. I was never really taken in by you but I think you must have been so damaged as a youngster to have gone on to do what you have done. Anyway, I hope you remember me because you got me typing for you for a general election in Sutton. Those were the days aye!

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  9. You've got his age wrong. He is 62.

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  10. Hello!
    He has showed up in Sweden as an asylumseeker . He lives in Nybro since 6 months!!

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  11. I believe this may partly be a guy I knew back in the early 90s in Central Coast CA. In fact I know it is. He is very charismatic. When our Episcopal priest had a coronary he volunteered to coordinate the team to ,nurse the parish for six months. The place thrived as never before. We had so many at church that the fire marshal had a fits. Ken's preaching was beyond good. And he never took a dime. At Christmas the ladies organised gifts for the Mexican Catholic kids and all the churches united at our little church. I had to go way with my job and when I got back everyone said how Ken was picked up by Immigration for over-staying his visa. People weren't angry with him for anything he might have done in his past, but for not trusting them enough to share his past and try to start over there and then.
    When I read all these comments by anonymouses, I thought how years ago people would have had to use pen, ink, paper, postage, the mail service, and risk being traced. So libel was easier to prove. Today it is easier to say whatever one wants about anyone without risk of being called on any of it.
    So I decided to research a bit before commenting myself and took two weeks doing it. I'm retired so have time and have little to do after all. I used the net and some scholar sites and research services. After all, the guy did me no harm other than by the sin of omission.
    OK. Depending where you look, he is 63 or 65 or 74. He was born in the US or Wales or Kenya or Canada or England. He has been educated in Wales or the US or Kenya or Canada or England or South Africa or Hong Kong, at ( among others) UBC, UCNW, UHK, UnivLon. The list goes on.
    He has directed a prison reform charity, a public relations company, political campaigns, a medical outreach NGO, a publishing house; he has been an executive of an international professional body, and the chief executive of a chartered association; he was deputy editor of a weekly news tabloid sold in 18 countries, and later editor of a international full-color technical trade monthly published worldwide in three languages.
    I have found articles published on technical subjects by him from as diverse locations as Japan and Germany, Austria and Arabia, Australia and Abu Dhabi, Britain and India, China and Switzerland. He seems to have spoken at academic forums on three continents and made reports accepted by three UN bodies.
    In addition to the news items about his exploits highlighted on Google, a deeper trawl brings over 150 print stories in six languages about the prison work, work with rehabilitation of children in Africa, an account of a day in a jail in Canada, and so on.
    Media work also include references to nine years as co-host of a weekly 30-minute TV program, but I can't find details, and many references to radio interviews and drive-in shows. There are other celebrity bits too, but I'll pass on those as they're a bit sensational.
    So, I did some calculation. Excluding schooling before university, the Ken we all know from Canada, England, Wales, Germany, Kenya, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and all the other places we've found him is 127 years old, just about.
    In other words, there must be more than one person here. OR, some one or some people are lying (why??)
    OR, Einstein was wrong.
    I most certainly am not saying this is a good guy. You all know him better than I do. He seems the pits. I'm just suggesting he can't be one guy at all. If he is then he should be in the White House taking on Putin and ISIS. I'd rather he be for me than against me.
    And, by the way, if he's so slick why's he not in a penthouse overlooking Central Park or a mansion in Mystique?
    Adam

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    1. Adam,
      Grateful if you would consider letting me have your email address so we could talk directly. Mine is lenport@gmail.com
      Len

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  12. ken is one person..he is a man who fears no other man apart from God the ultimate judge of all......he loves books...reads....reads and reads again and again....he has talent in all fields of study...........through reading.

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    1. I would like to hear more about this side of Ken, either from someone who knows him well, or from Ken himself.

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  13. For clarification and to avoid any doubt - Jones was born on 19th of May, 1950 - according to his Birth Certificate.

    His father was J E Jones and his mother was Primrose Jones, formerly Hawkins. They were from Caernarfon, Wales.

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    1. CORRECTION: According to my certified copy of his birth certificate, he was born on 12th not 19th May 1950 in Bangor. The 19th was the date of registration, not birth. His father was John Elias Jones and mother Primrose formerly Hawkins.
      I have a file on him over one inch thick and growing.

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  14. Ken was married to a member of my family. I have been in his homes in Canada, California and England, and even visited his childhood home in Wales. Although he was generous and kind to me personally, he tried to steal from my parents several times.

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  15. As someone who knew Kenner very well many years ago, I have some personal items I would like to return to him. Does anyone know how I could contact him to arrange this?  I will keep any such information confidential. If you can help, please reply to doncalonlan@gmail.com Many thanks.

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  16. I knew this man when he was running a rehabilitation programme at The Verne prison. How he conned his way into that one I'll never know. They actually handed him the keys to the place! Very credible character, of course, and very likeable also. But then you'd have to be, wouldn't you? Cheers, Ken! Come back and face the music, it's better than living on the run from hand to mouth.

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  17. I knew Ken when he was in Kenya, he came through our organization back in 2002 a very good volunteer and he did alot for the community until he let later with lots of issues. All i can say he is good person that he helps the needy by getting from the rich people, if anyone has his contacts please to pass them to me so i can give him my gratitudes from the orphans he has helped. email; rakhunga@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you for getting in touch from Kenya and I hope you manage to make contact with Ken. In August I wrote about someone else who hopes to make contact with him. See: http://algarvenewswatch.blogspot.pt/2015/08/conman-ken-sought-but-not-by-police.html

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  18. Ken stayed for quite a few months at my mums Bed & Breakfast in Walton on Thames Surrey in the 1980's, was a charming guy and took me as a youngster then to the Imperial War Museum. He always paid my mum on time and was a pleasure to know. Good luck Ken! (-:

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