The ongoing search for Sussex postgraduate student Erich Kofmel, who is suspected of internet-based fraudulent activities, has now moved to his native Switzerland.

Kofmel is believed to be hiding in social housing in the capital city Bern and an investigation is being conducted by Sussex police in cooperation with their Swiss and German counterparts. He is suspected of taking customer deposits for fake holidays and placing them in fraudulent bank accounts, before cancelling the vacations and keeping the money.

This latest development comes soon after the publication of the book “Anti-Democratic Thought” which grew out of a workshop organised by the Sussex Centre for the Individual and Society (SCIS) and is edited by Kofmel. Tuula Vaarakaillo, one of the book’s contributors, expressed frustration at not being informed of the ongoing controversy: “I have not been aware of E. Kofmel’s illegal activities prior to publication. If only I knew about these issues I would have withdrawn my contribution to the volume.

Kofmel’s presence at the conference where the workshop was held, as well as other international academic events, is alleged to have been funded by his illegal activities. The University of Sussex has reaffirmed the fact that “the SCIS is not associated with the University in any way.”

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