Interpol hunts runaway city broker charged with R20 mln fraud

2011-10-31 00:00

FORTY-FIVE counts of fraud totalling R20 million. Those are the official charges faced by Mike Hale, once a trusted and respected insurance salesman, now an infamous fugitive from justice. But the people who says they have been fleeced by Hale allege the figure runs to almost triple that amount.

Interpol is currently looking for Hale following the completion of an SA police investigation against him.

McIntosh Polela, spokesperson for the Hawks, told The Witness that they have applied for a warrant for Hale’s arrest.

“However, he has skipped the country. He is believed to be in the UK, Spain or Australia. Two months ago, we sent a letter to Interpol for them to try and establish his exact whereabouts.

“As soon as Interpol confirms a residential address for Hale, we will go through proper channels and apply for [his] extradition.”

Peter Steedman, who was sales manager at MJCM brokers at the time Hale destroyed his clients’ files, took the money and disappeared, said he feels police are not doing enough. “Although the case has been lodged with Interpol, there is nothing they can do until he does something wrong wherever he is and shows up on the systems.

“He has destroyed people’s lives. The old people have suffered the most. One couple’s home and cars were repossessed. Others were also left with nothing. He’s a wanted criminal. His picture should be on Sky News. He has caused massive harm in the insurance industry and people’s trust in their brokers went down the tubes after he left town.”

Steedman said he believes Hale acted alone and that his carefully crafted disappearance had been planned for over six years.

And while to many Mike Hale’s escapades are just a distant memory of a headline, those affected say his name still comes up in conversations in the city every day.

“The reason many people believe he is in Zimbabwe is because it is considered easy to bribe the border guards there, but it’s all conjecture. Hale hated the cold, so he wouldn’t be in the UK,” said one source who asked not to be named. Hale previously lived in Kenya and stayed in Zimbabwe for some time.

“Even his close mates don’t know where he is. It’s like he’s fallen off the face of the earth.”

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