Gareth Thomas Business Partner Is A Fugitive From Justice In South Africa – Stole 1.4 Million Bucks.
I fucking knew there was something strange about Sean Smith when he started sending me emails saying he was Gareth Thomas’s partner after Gareth had denied it. But now all this shit has come out……
RUGBY legend Gareth Thomas is expected to be stunned by revelations a friend he started a business with is WANTED over alleged swindles of £1.4million.
But the People can exclusively reveal Smith fled justice more than two years ago after persuading magistrates in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, to release him on bail because he had HIV and feared dying in prison.
He was helped by a clinical psychologist who testified to the court that Smith, 42, was HIV positive. It is believed he contracted the virus from an infected needle.
At the time Smith was awaiting trial over 14 charges of fraud and theft totalling £1.4million.
The judge who let him out came to the decision after being told the police had confiscated his UK citizen’s travel documents.
But once he was free Smith went to the British consulate and managed to persuade officials to give him a replacement passport.
Before leaving the country he emailed his lawyer in South Africa saying he was going to Australia. Soon afterwards a warrant for his arrest was issued.
A prosecution source in Port Elizabeth told The People: “Sean Smith disappeared from our country more than two years ago while he was facing very serious charges.
“We would very much welcome his return.”
Smith was arrested by South African police in June 2007 after he was said to have carried out a spree of thefts and frauds in Port Elizabeth, 500 miles east of Cape Town.
With a former boyfriend, a fellow Brit called Darren Brunning, he was accused of issuing false credit statements and guarantees to deceive banks into lending him money for four properties in some of the city’s most exclusive suburbs. In one deal he allegedly deceived Investec Bank to approve three separate loans totalling at least £516,000 to buy a luxury home.
Prosecutors claim he produced false financial statements from two companies in the British Virgin Islands and a guarantee from a bank in Turkey.
In court papers seen by The People, Smith and Brunning are also accused of stealing a £28,000 BMW car and a £75,000 Land Rover after using other fake documents. The pair are even said to have cheated a small catering firm out of £1,450.
The charge claims they ordered food for a party at one of the homes they were alleged to have fraudulently bought.
Smith was remanded in custody at Port Elizabeth’s St Albans prison by magistrates at the commercial crimes court but complained about the conditions inside the jail.
He was granted £1,700 bail in September 2008 after a clinical psychologist told the court of his state of mind and confirmed that he was HIV positive.
Smith spent more than a year on bail but failed to show up at court in October 2009. His lawyer said his client had sent him an email stating he was “refuelling in Oz before starting a new job in the British Virgin Islands in two weeks”. He has been wanted in South Africa ever since.
Brunning was reported to be in Australia in 2009. Yesterday South Africa’s national police spokesman Captain Dennis Adriao confirmed a warrant was still out for Smith’s arrest.
The People has handed over its dossier on Smith, of Epping, Essex, to Scotland Yard. Britain has an arrangement with South Africa on extradition so he could face proceedings.