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Dublin: 17 °C Wednesday 24 July, 2019

Man who received £88k support after claiming to be Grenfell Tower victim pleads guilty to fraud

71 people were killed in the fire that swept through Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017.

Abdelkarim Rekaya
Abdelkarim Rekaya
Image: Met Police

A MAN WHO received over £88,000 in financial support after falsely claiming he lived in Grenfell Tower in London and was subsequently homeless has pleaded guilty to fraud. 

Abdelkarim Rekaya (28) pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court today to fraud by false representation and obtaining leave to remain by deception. 

He has been remanded to be sentenced in the same court on Tuesday 27 November. 

Following the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017, Rekaya claimed to be homeless and living in the tower. 

He informed authorities that he was present on the night of the fire and was a resident. 

He was subsequently housed in hotel accommodation and received financial support to the value of £88,183.70. 

Met Police enquiries established that his story was, in fact, false and that he did not live at Grenfell Tower. 

He was arrested on 7 June 2018. He was charged with the above offences on 8 June 2018. 

“I have previously described the actions of those who exploited the tragedy for their own personal gain as truly appalling,” Met Police detective superintendent Matt Bonner said. 

Not only have their actions exploited the aid and support intended for those most affected, but they also risk misrepresenting the Grenfell community as they continue to try and come to terms with their grief.

“Abdelkarim Rekaya invented a story for his own self-gain and exploited the generosity of the public and the local community,” he said. 

“My thoughts remain with the Grenfell community at this difficult time, the genuine victims who should continue to be at the heart and centre of all we do.” 

71 people were killed in the fire that swept through Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017.

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