Wembley man in court accused of stealing identity of missing Marylebone woman to carry out �280,000 fraud

Rakesh Bhayani, 40, is claimed to have plundered the bank account of 50-year-old Carole Waugh

A suspected conman accused of stealing the identity of a missing businesswoman as part of a �280,000 fraud appeared in court today (Tuesday).

Rakesh Bhayani, 40, of Chamberlayne Road, Wembley, is said to have plundered the bank account of 50-year-old Carole Waugh, from Marylebone, who was last seen shopping in central London on May 4.

He allegedly tried to obtain �15,000 by impersonating a Barclaycard holder on an unknown date between April 18 and his arrest on July 20 this year.

A second charge states that Bhayani tried to withdraw �65,000 from a Barclays account.

He also claimed he was authorised to apply for a �198,000 ‘bridging loan’ from Cheval Finance, and in so doing ‘caused another to impersonate’ Ms Waugh, it is claimed.

Bhayani appeared via video-link from Belgravia Police Station during a brief hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

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Ms Waugh, a former civil servant, worked as a finance manager for oil companies in Libya during the rule of Colonel Gaddafi, but had returned to London in recent years.

Detectives have said they remain concerned about her welfare, and have appealed for information regarding her whereabouts.

Three other men and two women have also been arrested and bailed by detectives investigating the case.

Bhayani has not yet entered a plea to three counts of conspiring to commit fraud by false representation.

He was remanded in custody to reappear before Southwark Crown Court on September 25.

Anyone with information on Ms Waugh’s whereabouts is asked to contact police on 020 8721 4205 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.