Here’s a strange news story from 2016 that I missed: A man stopped going to work – and nobody noticed for six years.
A Spanish civil servant who failed to turn up for work for “at least” six years has been caught after becoming eligible for a long service award.
Joaquin Garcia, 69, was fined €27,000 (£21,000; $30,000) after the award brought his long absence to light.
Mr Garcia, whose job was to supervise the building of a waste water treatment plant, has since retired.
He denies the allegations and his lawyer says he has gone into hiding after suffering a media “lynching”.
Mr Garcia said he had been a victim of political bullying in the job and moved to a post where there was no work to do.
He was paid €37,000 a year before tax by a water company run by local authorities in the south-western city of Cadiz. A court found in the authority’s favour and ordered him to pay the fine ,which is equivalent to one year’s salary after tax and was the most that the company could legally reclaim.
He has written to the mayor asking not to have to pay the fine, and will ask for a review of the judgement…
Spanish newspapers have dubbed him “el funcionario fantasma” – the phantom official.