THE president of an exiled island conned an elderly and vulnerable woman with Alzheimer’s out of £30,000, a court heard.

Andre Vincatassin was elected president-in-exile of the Indian Ocean Chagos Islands. The islanders were evicted in the 1960s and 1970s to allow the US to build a military base.

The 48-year-old is accused of using his influence and power in the Chagos and Mauritian community to con the woman, who cannot read and write, into signing away the right to sell her home and acting against her financial interests. It is alleged he acted as elderly Marie Anodin’s attorney during the sale of her house in Newham, east London in June 2016.

He was allegedly aided by Sandeeren Mareemootoo, a 42-year-old also known as Jason, who is charged with fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and witness intimidation.

It is claimed he tricked Mrs Anodin, now 84, into believing she was his “aunty” so he could take charge of her bank card and splurge £58,000 on gambling.

Mareemootoo and Vincatassin’s partners Yiliana Hengari, 31, and Marie Dorothee, 33, are also charged with conspiracy to commit fraud.

Prosecutor Alan Gardner, at Snaresbrook Crown Court, said: “This case is about fraud perpetrated against an elderly and vulnerable lady.

“She became a victim of fraud because she happened to be relatively wealthy: she owned a house in London and had large sums of money on deposit in her bank accounts.

“She was also vulnerable to exploitation.

“As with many frauds, the initial stage involved gaining the confidence of the victim.

“Once the confidence and trust of the victim had been gained, those responsible for the fraud then pretended to be helping the victim, to be caring for her, looking after her in her own best interests.

“In reality, prosecution say they were in it for their own financial gain.

“Over a relatively short period of time, the victim of this fraud went from owning her own home and having substantial amounts of money in her bank accounts to having virtually nothing: her house and its contents had been sold and her bank accounts had been emptied.

“She had to rely on the goodwill of friends and family to get back on her feet.”

Mr Gardner said Mareemootoo befriended Mrs Anodin in order to wipe her savings and sell her house to buy a larger property in Sussex for him, his partner and three young children.

He said: “Having become aware of the police interest and having spent much of Marie’s money, Jason Mareemootoo persuaded Marie to leave London and live with him and his family in their flat in Crawley.

“He initially told Marie she was going there for a holiday, but, once there, he ensured that she remained in a tiny bedroom with him in Crawley.

“A new bank account was opened in Marie’s name in Crawley and Jason and his partner Yiliana Hengari wanted to continued to help themselves to Marie’s money.

All four defendants deny conspiracy to commit fraud, while Mareemootoo also denies fraud and witness intimidation.

The case continues.