Police catch up with fugitive UK fraudster Raymond Nevitt after ten years on the run

Fraudster arrested in South Africa with 28 mobile phones and a large quantity of Sim cards

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A former company director who fled Britain after being convicted of fraud has been recaptured in South Africa after nearly 10 years on the run, the Serious Fraud Office has said.

Raymond Nevitt, 51, from Manchester, fled Britain in 2006. He was arrested in Cape Town, where it is believed he had been hiding for five years, according to the SFO.

South African police said that when he was arrested he had 28 mobile phones and a large quantity of Sim cards. Nevitt will now face extradition to Britain to serve his sentence.

In October 2006, Nevitt was convicted at Manchester Crown Court of conspiracy to defraud. He was released on bail pending his sentence but fled the country using a false passport. He is believed to have travelled to Spain and then to Thailand, where he worked as a driver before moving to South Africa.

While on the run in 2010, he was convicted in his absence of five further counts of fraudulent trading worth £3.25m, following an 11-week trial at Manchester Crown Court.

In 1991, Nevitt, from a wealthy family of jewellers, set up a company called Ravelle that sold second-hand computer parts to the PC maintenance industry. Despite initial success, the firm began to struggle, in part because of his lavish spending and penchant for fast cars.

The court heard that he had “problems understanding what was company money and what was his money,” enjoying firm-funded trips to Las Vegas, Monaco, Verbier and Singapore.

As his firms were going bust they continued trading despite knowingly having no prospect of being able to pay suppliers. Nevitt conned companies into lending him money on the strength of bogus orders using forged papers – known as “fresh-air invoicing”. The loans were used to make payments to “friendly” companies controlled by Ravelle.

Before his conviction, Nevitt appeared on television alongside Damon Hill and Vic Reeves, taking part in the Gumball Rally, a notorious road-race across Europe. He wrote off his white Ferrari, registration L1000NEY, in a high-speed crash in Latvia.