The Irish property developer who claimed he was abducted by the Russian mafia has now admitted the story was a hoax from start to finish.
Galway based millionaire Kevin Michael McGeever came clean after he was arrested on suspicion of wasting police time.
McGeever made the bizarre allegations when he was found wandering in a distressed state on a back road in County Leitrim in January.
Found with the word ‘thief’ written on his forehead, he claimed he had been abducted eight months earlier over a failed property deal.
Now the Irish Sun has revealed that McGeever confessed to police that he made the whole story up – after reading a similar tale in the newspaper.
Officers believe McGeever may have used the case of US tourist Kelly Jones, 41, who was found in a distressed state in Donegal in September 2011.
Jones had been reported missing but was unable to tell police what happened to her. She is not suspected of faking her disappearance.
Police now believe that McGeever may have spent time in a garden shed at the back of his palatial Galway home.
They also suspect he was aided in his scam. A report will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and McGeever may face charges and a court appearance.
The Irish Sun reports that he told officers he concocted the story because he ‘owed money’ to people across the country.
The paper says he stayed in different locations after he was reported missing in May 2012 but also spent time in the shed at his house.
A senior source told the paper: “It was only in the closing stages that he held his hands up and said he was under serious financial pressure.
“He claimed he was left with no option but to go into hiding because of the stress he was under.
“This man is more to be pitied than anything else because he seems to have put himself through hell.”