No one told us Lib Dem fraudster was on our island, say Dominican police.
New details have emerged of how the millionaire fraudster and Liberal Democrat donor Michael Brown escaped justice.
The whereabouts of his wife, Sharon, who has been living in Majorca are unknown. Telephone bills from Brown's home in the Dominican Republic showed that he was in almost daily contact with her until last November.
It can also be revealed that the Parliamentary Ombudsman has begun a "maladministration" investigation into Brown's £2.4 million donation to the Liberal Democrats before the 2005 election, heaping fresh embarrassment on the party at the start of its annual conference.
City of London Police say they have known Brown's whereabouts for some time. Last week two men were arrested on suspicion of helping Brown escape.
Despite this, the island's Policia Nacional and the Dominican branch of Interpol say they were never alerted that Brown, who is living under the alias Darren Patrick Nally, was in their country.
Last February, Brown was sent to La Victoria prison outside Santo Domingo after being arrested as he tried to flee the country. He had been under house arrest after a private prosecution by two local businessmen in a dispute over a £1.5 million oil deal.
Brown apparently persuaded the men to invest in the project but failed to honour the deal.
Judge Ileana Garcia Perez ordered him to be detained at La Victoria prison. Brown had his head shaved and was taken to the jail, where thousands of prisoners are reputed to live in squalid conditions. He was released last May and vanished without the island's authorities knowing he was an international fugitive.
Judge Perez said last night: "I had no idea this man was anyone other than Darren Nally.
"We had not been given any information by the British that he was anyone other than Nally. We had no way of knowing he was someone else.
"It is a little surprising that we were never informed by the British that he was wanted for another crime abroad."
Last week the Interpol office in the Dominican Republic opened a file on Brown and asked its London bureau for more information after being alerted to his presence by The Sunday Telegraph.
Files sent from London showed that the man whose identity Brown had been using for more than three years also had a long criminal record including a history of violence and drug offences.
A senior Interpol officer said: "We have never received any previous requests regarding either Darren Nally or Michael Brown and we are now beginning inquiries about them."
Col Maximo Baez, a spokesman for the Dominican Republic's national chief of police, said: "We are alarmed that someone with this criminal background has been living in our country. There is no extradition treaty between Britain and the Dominican Republic.
"But extradition and deportation are two different things.
"If a man comes to the Dominican Republic on false documents he is breaking our laws and we do not want him here. Such a person, if found, will be deported."
In Britain the Parliamentary Ombudsman is examining the Electoral Commission's decision to clear the Lib Dems of any wrongdoing over Brown's donation.
It reached the decision two years ago on the grounds that Brown's company was a permissible donor when it gave the money, and that the party had acted in good faith.
Charles Kennedy, the former Lib Dem leader, said last week that the party "went the extra mile" to check out the legitimacy of Brown's donation. But letters between Brown and senior party officials, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, suggest this was not the case.
One letter written by the fraudster to Lord Razzall, the party's campaign chairman at the time, criticises it for doing "little or no due diligence" on the veracity of his donation.
Writing in 2005, when he first faced questions from the Electoral Commission, Brown asked why the party had not ensured that the cash met political party rules before accepting it. Accusing them of putting him in an embarrassing position, he said: "I am very unhappy … there could be some legal challenge to the donations."
The Electoral Commission was examining whether Brown's firm, 5th Avenue Partners, was trading in Britain and therefore a permissible donor.
Brown told the peer: "As a donor, I do not have detailed knowledge of the rules and rely on the party to verify that the donation is proper.
"In the case of the donation made by my company, very little due diligence was undertaken.
"Whilst there is no question that the company was set up as a shell vehicle through which to make the donation, it was evident from the public records that the company was recently incorporated and had not filed statutory accounts."
A few days later David Griffiths, the Lib Dem treasurer at the time, wrote to the Electoral Commission detailing its evidence that the donation was above board. In a letter to Brown's company accountants on the same day, Mr Griffiths, who died earlier this month, said he hoped the information given to the commission would be the end of the matter.
In October 2005, Lord Rennard, the Lib Dem Chief Executive, wrote to tell Brown that the Electoral Commission had sanctioned the donation.
The new probe, prompted by a member of the public, is now looking at whether the Electoral Commission was wrong to ignore the evidence presented to the Crown Court that Brown's firm, used to make the political donation, never traded legitimately and was merely a front for fraud.
Brown was tried in absentia and sentenced to seven years in jail for fraud. But the commission apparently decided this was not relevant to its inquiry.
If it decides the commission acted improperly, the Ombudsman can order it to reopen the case and force the Lib Dems to return the cash to Brown's fraud victims.