Fraudster posing as Italian caught out by bilingual custody officer

Kleris Harizi was behind the wheel of an uninsured Vauxhall Astra when he was spotted by police in Gateshead in May. Credit: Northumbria Police

An Albanian man who posed as an Italian was rumbled by a bilingual custody officer.

Kleris Harizi was behind the wheel of an uninsured Vauxhall Astra when he was spotted by police in Gateshead in May.

When the 22-year-old was confronted by police, he showed with an Italian passport but had no other documentation.

He was placed under arrest and taken into police custody where he told Custody Sergeant Mark Forshaw his name was ‘Carlos Sorrento’.

The officer, who speaks Italian, asked him a string of questions the suspect could not understand, or answer.

The Albanian fraudster was charged with driving offences and providing a false passport before he was jailed for six months by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court.


The bilingual officer picked up the language during his holidays to Rome.

I have been to Italy a few times and he sounded as Italian as I do. He was also claiming his name was Carlos Sorrento which didn’t sound right. Sorrento is a place in Italy and also a car make so I suspected he may have made it up, and decided to try and speak to him in some of the Italian I know.

Custody Sergeant Mark Forshaw

Harizi, of Bensham Avenue, Gateshead, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on September 21 where he was jailed for six months.

At a previous hearing he had admitted possessing a fraudulent article, obstructing police, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and using a vehicle without insurance.

He arrived in the UK in 2017 and now faces being deported.