Thursday, February 22, 2024

Artisan London whisky maker unmasked as Polish criminal on run for 20 years

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In 2015, using knowledge of moonshine production learned from his father and grandfather, he launched his career in the whisky industry.

He recently opened a second distillery, Dunphail, in Speyside, Scotland, and his business employs around 40 people.

Mr Ratajewski has been in custody since his arrest, but his lawyers went to the High Court to try to have him freed on bail until May 4, when a magistrate will decide whether he should be sent back to Poland to face trial for conspiracy to murder.

‘Assumed name given’

The court heard how Mr Ratajewski gave police his assumed name, Dariusz Plazewski, on his arrest in Acton, west London, and a false date of birth.

Mrs Justice Farbey said: “When confronted by the picture attached to the arrest warrants, he accepted that he was the person sought in the warrants.

“He admits that he has been living under a false identity since arriving here early in 2004.”

Mr Ratajewski, now a British citizen, would face serious charges if ultimately returned to Poland, Judge Farbey said, including “conspiracy to commit murder in 1997”.

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