Albanian torture suspect at large in UK


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The Independent Online

Police are searching for a former Albanian intelligence officer wanted for torture and kidnapping who jumped bail last week, failing to appear at his extradition hearing in London on 1 December.

Ilir Nazmi Kumbaro, 58, has disappeared from his council flat in Fulham, south London, but police believe he is still in the UK somewhere being harboured by friends.

Mr Kumbaro arrived in the UK in 1996 and was granted asylum by posing as a Kosovan refugee by the name of Shaqa Shatri. Albanian television cameras have since uncovered a Shaqa Shatri, working on a Kosovan farm, whose date of birth matches that on Mr Kumbaro's documents.

Mr Kumbaro had been receiving incapacity benefits because he claimed he was suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. In order to claim them he had to register with Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow Health Authority, where instead of using the name "Shaqa Shatri", Mr Kumbaro inexplicably used his real name. The registration was later cancelled, but it was enough to alert UK detectives.

For several years Mr Kumbaro has been living in a three-bedroom council flat in Fulham with a woman he claims is a friend, Naxhe Azemi. But police believe she is his wife, Vjollica Kumbaro. Another resident in the flat has stated his name as Ervin Kumbaro. Detective Superintendent Pete Rance, of the Met's extradition unit, said Mr Kumbaro does not pose a threat to the public.