British police have filed fraud charges against a man who faked his death in a canoe five years ago to collect insurance money.

Police in northeast England Saturday charged John Darwin with an elaborate deception to clear his family of debt. The father of two has been in detention since last week when he entered a police station saying he did not remember anything of the past several years.

Darwin was declared dead after failing to return from a 2002 canoeing trip. His wife, Ann, received his life insurance money.

After Darwin re-emerged last week, she told reporters he returned home about three years ago and continued to live with her secretly.

She has since moved to Panama. Police have urged Ann Darwin to contact them.

Anne Darwin's confession was published Saturday in British tabloid newspapers. She says when her husband staged his death, they both had full-time jobs, but were experiencing mounting debts with investment properties.

Some information for the story provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.