'Wanted' man found dead in France

A wanted man who has been on the run for over 25 years is believed to have been found dead in France.

A wanted man who has been on the run for over 25 years is believed to have been found dead in France.

Robert Stapleton is wanted in connection with a multi-million pound fraud, with Irish, UK and European warrants for his arrest.

English police previously said the 67-year-old was wanted over allegations of fraud of £5m (€5.7m) relating to companies he controlled.

Stapleton, who has appeared on Crimewatch’s Most Wanted board, was arrested on a European arrest warrant in Ireland in 2005 but failed to surrender to extradition and disappeared.

It is now believed his body was found in a town in Brittany, France, around May 22. It is understood his death is not being treated as suspicious.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said the French authorities have been in contact.

French authorities are working on the assumption that the dead man is Stapleton, based on the documentation found on his person, but no formal identification is thought to have taken place yet.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said they were aware a body had been found in France which may be Stapleton, but he said they were awaiting confirmation of formal identification.

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