Police trawl private life of missing woman

A 'significant amount of money' has been removed from her bank account, say detectives

Detectives investigating the disappearance of a wealthy businesswoman are trawling her private life to try to discover the identity of a gang that has stolen her identity and removed thousands of pounds from her bank accounts.

Carole Waugh, 50, was last in contact with her family in April and concerns are growing for her safety after it emerged that at least three women had impersonated her and a man pretended to be her brother Chris to try to sell her £675,000 central London flat.

Ms Waugh returned to Britain in 2008 from Libya, where she had been working. Her family said she was seeking "Mr Right". Officers are trying to trace friends and other people she may have met online to try to discover if she is being held hostage and forced to hand over her bank details. Her family said she was a private person and they had only picked up snippets about her personal life in London.

Detectives yesterday issued new security camera footage showing money being taken from her account on 10 July, nearly three months after she was last in contact with her family.

The footage shows one man using her bank card at a cash machine outside a branch of Sainsbury's in Enfield while another stands a short distance away, before walking away with him.

Police said that a "significant amount" of money had been stolen since she was seen at a family party in Cumbria over Easter. They had been planning her 50th birthday party in June. She also told them she was also planning to visit Las Vegas with friends, but police have so far been unable to trace them.

Detectives have appealed for anyone who knew Ms Waugh after she returned from Libya – where she had been working as a finance manager for oil companies – to come forward. They said they were treating it as a London-focused crime rather than one linked to her former work in Libya.

Ms Waugh, who was wealthy enough not to need to work all the time, had worked on short-term contracts in London and had recently turned down the opportunity to work in Malta on projects linked to Libyan reconstruction. She would contact relatives regularly, even while she was living in Tripoli, her brother Chris said. "You would get a weekly or a fortnightly phone call to reassure everybody that everything was all right."

Detective Chief Inspector John McFarlane said: "She seems to be someone who enjoys life. We want those who knew her to get in touch."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003