A man who fraudulently claimed nearly £50,000 meant for Grenfell Tower survivors has been jailed.
Moses Ettienne used to live in the west London tower but had moved out “several years” before the tragic fire, police said.
Did no-one ask any questions? At all?
…the 49-year-old told Kensington and Chelsea council he had been staying in the tower on the night the fire broke out.
Police said Etienne gave a false flat number that did not exist, and then refused to provide the council or the police with details of the flat he was claiming to live in.
Shouldn’t that have rung alarm bells? But no, the money tap kept gushing.
Officers said: “Ettienne claimed that this was due to his ‘top secret’ work with foreign governments on renewable energy and that the flat may still contain these ‘top secret’ Government files.
“He even tried to claim that as a result of his government work he was afforded diplomatic immunity as a result of him being attached to the US Mission in Geneva.
“The reality was he held no diplomatic status in the UK and that whilst he had created two renewable energy companies with Companies House, both were closed after a year due to lack of trading. Evidence showed that he was in fact a second hand vintage clothes stall holder.”
All this evidence being found, not by the council staff handing out sackfuls of taxpayer cash, but by investigators after he’d been charged.
Andrew Levin, from the CPS, said: “This is yet another shocking case of taking advantage of a community tragedy for personal gain.”
Oh, it’s shocking, all right. But not for the reasons you might think.
“Although Ettiene did provide documents that proved he lived at the Grenfell Tower – these dated back to 2014 and there was absolutely no evidence showing he had lived in the building post 2015.
“The prosecution case did not dispute the historic links Ettiene had to the tower, but was able to prove that he was lying and was not a resident at the time of the fire.”
Then why wasn’t the council able to prove it? Because they simply didn’t bother to try.