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'Canoe Man' John Darwin charged

  • Story Highlights
  • John Darwin, 57, thought to have drowned at sea off northeastern England in 2002
  • Reappeared last week at London police station, now charged with fraud
  • Police say he told officers:"I think I am a missing person"
  • Will appear before magistrates court on Monday, police said
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- "Canoe Man" John Darwin has been charged on two counts of fraud, UK police have said.

The 57-year-old was charged by officers in northeastern England on Saturday with making an untrue statement to procure a passport and obtaining money transfer by deception, said Detective Sgt. Iain Henderson of Cleveland Police.

Darwin will appear before Hartlepool magistrates court Monday, Henderson said, when police plan to ask for him to be remanded in custody. Henderson added that Darwin was "fit and well."

Darwin came to worldwide attention after he walked into a police station in London last weekend -- five years after the remains of a red canoe he paddled into the North Sea, off northeastern England, washed up on shore near his home of Seaton Carew, leading everyone to believe he had died.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police told CNN that Darwin had told police: "I think I am a missing person."

Despite an extensive search involving police, Coast Guards and the Royal Navy, no trace was found of the prison officer and former teacher after the wreck of his canoe was found.

Darwin was presumed dead, by police, the public and his two sons, Mark and Anthony, now aged 31 and 29.

He was declared dead by a coroner in 2003, 13 months after his disappearance in March 2002.

Henderson said the police had received many calls, both from the UK and overseas, in response to their appeals for information about Darwin's whereabouts since he was last seen.

They also appealed to Anne Darwin, who sold the family home in Seaton Carew and moved to Panama recently, to come forward and contact them. She is believed to have left Panama for the United States.

Shortly after he went to police, Darwin was reunited with his two sons, who released a joint statement saying the reappearance of their father was "a huge shock." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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