bbc news

International conman held in US

Sept 30--A Colombian man who has spent his life stealing from rich hotel guests has been arrested in the US state of Vermont near the border with Canada.

Juan Carlos Guzman-Betancourt was detained after attempting to cross the border illegally.

He has used at least 10 aliases, and has been wanted in Canada, Colombia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Thailand and Venezuela, according to reports.

In 2005, he escaped from a UK prison after a trip to a dentist.

Prosecutors have compared him to confidence trickster Frank Abagnale Jr, who was the subject of the film "Catch Me If You Can".


A US Border Patrol agent, responding to a tip-off, arrested him after he had walked across the border into Vermont.

Guzman-Betancourt told the agent that he had inadvertently crossed the border to seek help for a broken-down car, according to an affidavit.

He was carrying a Spanish passport in the name of Jordi Ejarque-Rodriguez containing stamps from Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman.

His true identity was later revealed using fingerprint analysis.
Read more here.
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.