LONDON: In June 2017 a fire broke out in Grenfell Tower, a 23-story apartment block in London, rapidly turning into an inferno which killed 70 people and an unborn baby. In the chaos one man lied to the authorities, claiming his wife and son had died in the blaze.
Anh Nhu Nguyen, 52, admitted fraud and on Friday, February 9, he was jailed for 21 months at Southwark Crown Court.
The inferno, which claimed 71 lives, continues to have a big social and political impact on the UK.
In the hours and days after the fire there was a great deal of confusion about the number of people who lived in the tower block, which was managed by KCTMO, on behalf of Kensington and Chelsea Council.
Nguyen obtained £12,500 (US$17,200) in cash, clothing, food and electrical items from the council and various charities and was put in a hotel after pretending to be a survivor.
© Photo: Metropolitan Police
But Nguyen had never lived in the tower block and had an apartment in south-east London.
He had simply shown up in the aftermath of the fire and claimed to be homeless and grieving.
Nguyen claimed to have lost all his possessions in the blaze and spoke emotionally about seeing dead bodies in the hallways of the tower as he struggled to get out through the thick smoke.
He claimed he was trying to contact relatives in Hong Kong who would want to come over for the funeral of his wife and son.
But it was all lies.
Detective Superintendent Matt Bonner said many people had suffered the most harrowing night of their lives on June 14 but Nguyen sought to profit from their misery.
“As part of our response to the fire dedicated officers were deployed to support those who had been affected and when inconsistencies emerged in Nguyen’s story we began an investigation to discover whether he had been telling us lies,” Det. Supt. Bonner told Sputnik.