Double life of Albanian asylum seeker who killed elderly couple in a 'callous' attack for millions they never had
Violent criminal Vital Dapi lived a double life in the UK and Albania for 17 years
He targeted grandparents Peter and Sylvia Stuart in a 'callous' attack
Ex-commando thought they were millionaires and needed cash to cover debts
Detectives admitted they knew 'little' about him when he went on the run
Dapi has now been found guilty at a jury trial after being arrested in Luxembourg
By Tom Kelly In Elbasani, Albania For The Daily Mail
Published: 10:40 +11:00, 14 March 2017 |
An Albanian who brutally murdered two pensioners used a stolen identity to claim asylum and live in Britain illegally for nearly two decades.
In a case that exposed a litany of immigration blunders, violent criminal Vital Dapi lived a double life in the UK and Albania for 17 years before he killed grandparents Peter and Sylvia Stuart.
The former Albanian special forces commando targeted the couple in a 'callous' attack at their Suffolk cottage because he thought they were millionaires and he needed cash to cover massive gambling debts.
Detectives admitted they knew 'precious little' about him when he went on the run last year after Mr Stuart, 75, was discovered dumped in a ditch with nine 'extreme' stab wounds. The body of retired insurance clerk Mrs Stuart, 69, has never been found.*
Dapi was arrested in Luxembourg and admitted his true identity, but British officials did not believe him and he was put on trial under his false name, Ali Qazimaj.
Vita Dapi murdered retired couple Sylvia and Peter Stuart, pictured together above
Now, after a jury at Ipswich Crown Court took just three hours to convict Dapi, it can be revealed that he:
Sneaked into Britain in September 1999 clinging to the fuel tank of a truck;
Was granted asylum within six months after telling border officials he was fleeing the war in Kosovo where his entire family had been a victims of ethnic cleansing;
Proudly posed next to a portrait of the Queen at his UK citizenship ceremony in an Essex town hall in 2005 – and sent the picture home to his mother in Albania;
Made regular trips home to his family in Albania, where he retained a passport and ID card in his real name and worked as a suspected hitman around the Balkans;
Was arrested three times in the UK before the murders, without the authorities realising he was living here under a false name.
Last night MPs questioned the 'extraordinary' failings that had allowed Dapi to live in the country illegally for so long.
The compulsive gambler, who spent up to £1,000 a day at bookmakers, killed the Stuarts to fund his addiction after being told they were millionaires who had easy access to cash, the court was told.
He made reconnaissance trips in his car near the Stuarts' remote Brick Kiln Cottage in Weybread, near Eye in Suffolk, in the weeks before the murders last summer.
Police found retired technician Mr Stuart's body on June 3. Dapi was also convicted of Mrs Stuart's murder, after her hair was found in his car. After killing the keen line-dancers – who had been married for 48 years – Dapi drove to Dover and fled across the Channel by ferry after using Mrs Stuart's bank card to take money from a cash machine.
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