A gangster who launched a successful career as a male model and musician while on the run in Australia has been snared in an extraordinary police sting.
Fugitive Ben Fiberesima, 30, appeared in campaigns by fashion designers such as Tom Ford after skipping bail while facing trial on fraud and weapons charges in London seven years ago. He also performed as a critically-acclaimed rap artist under the name Roky Million, releasing singles and videos downloaded by tens of thousands of fans.
The gang member from South Kilburn was picked as one of the first people to trial the “Google Glass” for a style magazine, and in a self-help book published last year claimed he was “worth seven figures by the age of 26”.
Officers from Brent’s Wanted Offenders Unit received an anonymous tip-off that Fiberesima was back in London in August living under a false name but were unable to locate him.
An officer contacted the agency claiming to represent the fake company WOU Photography and booked Fiberesima for a casting call to model a range of luxury swimwear.
When he arrived for what he thought was his next assignment at the studio in Kentish Town, Fiberesima was arrested at the door.
Fiberesima was jailed for three years and nine months after being found guilty of two counts of theft, two counts of making false representation and possessing an offensive weapon at Harrow Crown Court earlier this month.
He also pleaded guilty to three counts of making false representation and one count of possessing a prohibited weapon.
Fiberesima was originally arrested in September 2008 after calling police claiming someone was attempting to enter his flat in Christchurch Avenue, Brondesbury, north-west London.
When officers arrived, there was no intruder but they did find a stun gun, a can of CS gas and stolen chequebooks belonging to a neighbour.
He was arrested and charged with fraud, theft and possession of an offensive weapon.
Fiberesima’s Established Models biography claims: “Raised in London Roky used his talent for rhyming to be crowned UK Underground rap battle champion 11 times. He has travelled extensively modelling for international brands including Calvin Klein, Nike, Tom Ford and YSL.”
It also states that “Roky appeared in Baz Luhrman’s film, The Great Gatsby” although the Standard was unable to find his name in the film’s credits.
During his time on the run, Fiberesima published a self-help book called Roky’s Power Gain 50 – Rules To Live By To Gain Power, Money and Influence.
He said he had gone from “working class to millionaire in 15 months”, writing: “I grew up in government housing and have been for 80 per cent of my life. I am now worth seven figures at age 26. I used my in depth knowledge of power to change my fortunes.”
The last message on his Twitter feed, posted in December last year, said: “To all: Roky’s in the 5% of rappers that can genuinely be described as ‘real’ so as is life he’ll be away til further notice #management.”
In one interview for an online fashion magazine Fiberesima talks of how he started travelling the world at the age of 23 and visited countries including France, Belgium, Spain and Australia while he modelled for designers including Calvin Klein, Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent.
He declares : “I have had ups and downs, trials and tribulations, like everyone else” and said in his youth he mixed with gang members but had since changed his life.
He added: “ I keep it as honest as I can.”
Detective Inspector Pete Wallis of Brent CID said: “There is clear message here, that we will not forget you if you offend, and we will explore all options in tracing you and bringing you to justice.
“Mr Fiberesima used false identities to evade capture for five years and developed a very public persona in Australia and internationally as a rap artist and model.
“Thankfully he is now paying for his crimes, due to the perseverance of Brent’s Wanted Offenders Unit.”
A spokesman for Established Models said he had been on their books as Mr Million for a few months two years ago. He said : “He was not working, so we let him go. “