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Fugitive fraudster is gunned down.

Byline: Mark Hookham

A FRAUDSTER from Merseyside has been shot dead eight years after fleeing from police to a sunshine hideaway.

Stanley Rankin, 55, was gunned down at the weekend near his luxury villain northern Cyprus.

Rankin, whose last known address was Chambres Road, Southport, jumped bail in 1995 after being arrested in possession of forged promissory notes worth pounds 1.5m. A British man, who has not yet been named, has been arrested in connection with the shooting. Foreign Office officials yesterday informed Rankin's family of his murder. The former lorry driver went on the run after being r eleasedon bail by City of London Police.

Six years ago he was discovered living in a rented villa outside picturesque Kyrenia in the Turkish Republic of northern Cyprus. He was last year deported to the Turkish mainland as an ``undesirable alien'' but is known to have returned to his Cyprus villa by November 2002. A Foreign Service spokeswoman said: ``A British national, Stanley Rankin, has been killed in northern Cyprus.

``His next of kin have been informed.

One British national is being held in custody in connection with his death but the police have not yet released any details on him. ``Our consular service will provide any assistance to either family.'' Rankin had reportedly been in numerous scrapes while on the island.

A source said before his death: ``We used to call him Stan the Man with the BaseballBat. He chased some really huge scary guy with abaseballbat and was able to frighten the hell out of him. I don't know how. He's a fatherly looking figure. He just looks like someone's dad.''

He described himself to friends on the island as a ``financial adviser'' and reportedly set up an ``investment bank'' which was then closed down. In January this year, Rankin was secretly filmed by undercover TV jour-nalist PaulKenyon. The BBC Kenyon Confronts crew ``befriended'' Rankin in a three month investigation into how the Mediterranean island is being used as a safe haven for wanted British criminals.

Rankin was caught on camera explaining how he knew murderers and drug dealers on the run. He offered to launder money for the undercover reporter and admitted to being involved in cigarette smuggling.

Rankin named other wanted criminals who are living in northern Cyprus and explains how they live in style, many owning exclusive villas with swimming pools.

CAPTION(S):

CAUGHT ON TV: Stanley Rankin as he was being secretly filmed
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 19, 2003
Words:409
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