A fugitive Briton wanted over a £1.5million fraud in South Africa has been found working as a teacher in the UK - after the police were tipped off by a pupil.
Broker Mike Hale, 63, left Pietermaritzburg four years ago after 20million rand (£1.55million) went missing from his insurance firm
Authorities there put out a search warrant and contacted Interpol in a bid to track him down.
But Mr Hale, a former captain of the Great Britain water polo team, arrived back in the UK and passed background checks to become a supply teacher in Cornwall.
Accused Mike Hale denies any wrongdoing and says he left South Africa because of stress
The ex-sportsman was brought to the attention of the authorities when a school pupil read about his case on Facebook and recognised him.
The 13-year-old girl posted details of her detective work online along with a picture she took of Mr Hale - and soon more students came forward to confirm the sighting.
Among them was former Falmouth School student Daniel Templeton, who was taught PE by Mr Hale 18 months ago.
He wrote: 'I thought, "Oh my god, that's really him".
'I just find it ridiculous. Surely he must have gone through the system?'
Police in South Africa are now waiting to extradite Mr Hale who is no longer working as a teacher after Penryn College and Falmouth School informed the police about the developments.
The ex-sportsman, pictured with his partner, went undetected for years but was finally exposed when a school pupil read about his case on Facebook and recognised him
The alleged conman left South Africa in 2009 after the money went missing from the accounts of his company MJCM Insurance Brokers in Pietermaritzburg.
He is accused of 20 cases of fraud affecting 200 people, including his wife of 13 years and his brother-in-law.
Mr Hale denies any wrongdoing and says he fled South Africa because of stress.
He said: 'My attorneys are dealing with it. There were other people over there who were in the wrong, I’m not in the wrong.
Mr Hale pictured on a web cam by a student at Penryn College. Police in South Africa are now waiting to extradite Mr Hale
'I’m very upset about it. It’s a very difficult situation. I left because everything failed and I was stressed out.'
An international hunt for Hale was launched and details were posted on Facebook.
Captain Paul Ramaloko, national spokesperson for the Hawks (the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation), confirmed: 'Mike Hale is a wanted man.'
He added: 'We know where he is. And we are in touch with the UK authorities to try and extradite him.
'The matter is at a very sensitive stage. We have been doing the necessary paperwork so that he can come to South Africa to answer for the alleged wrongs he has done here.
'He was not put on the Interpol wanted list. But his name was circulated to Interpol and the movement control system.
'That’s how we know where he is.'
Hale had worked at colleges and schools across Cornwall.
A statement from Cornwall College said: 'He registered in September 2009, having completed all necessary statutory checks as a qualified teacher, including professional references.
'In line with the current Disclosure and Barring Service guidance and our normal operating policy, all checks were updated November 2012 - all were clear.
'We have no information relating to alleged activities in South Africa. Mr Hale is no longer working with us.'
A statement from Penryn College said: 'As soon as Penryn College and Falmouth School were alerted of the allegations, both immediately informed the police and the supply agency of the allegations made about him.'
Hale, originally from Walsall in the West Midlands, was one of Britain’s most successful water polo players, starting his career at Walsall Swimming and Water Polo Club and being made captain of the England U-18 team in 1964.
At just 16 he was selected to play for the Great Britain senior squad in 1966, a team he went on to captain in 1970 when it was among the best in the world.
He is now living in a converted farmstead and has pigs and sheep in sheds on the land.
THE CHECKS TEACHERS GO THROUGH TO WORK WITH CHILDREN