Expatica news

Authorities seek master conman

7 August 2007

GHENT – Belgian justice officials are conducting an intensive search for master conman Piet van Haut. The man has not returned to his psychiatric detainment centre after a trip to Amsterdam, authorities in Ghent report.

Van Haut (38) is very successful at talking gullible individuals out of their money. He has in the past pretended to be a son of King Albert. Other times he pretends to be a high ranking official at the justice department. 

Even the police have been fooled into providing him helicopter transport on one occasion. He was also allowed to leave the scene of a car accident without any problem once when he convinced police officers that he was the head of the state security service.

Van Haut was convicted in 2005 and finally admitted to a psychiatric centre for untreatable cases. He left the centre “because a therapist was trying to blackmail him,” he said after his escape in a phone call to the Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. He claims now to be staying at expensive hotels in the Ardennes.

He won’t have any trouble paying for his stay: he reportedly has an account containing EUR 9 million at the ING bank. He claims to have been given the money by a rich woman who was enamoured with him.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Belgian news