Police are appealing for information to help them track down a former Albanian intelligence chief wanted on torture and kidnapping charges who they say has gone on the run in Britain.

Ilir Nazmi Kumbaro, 58, was due to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court in London for an extradition hearing on December 1 but failed to attend.

Authorities in Albania accuse Kumbaro of six offences of torture and abduction, including the kidnap of a father-of-five who has not been seen alive since 1995.

Police said Kumbaro claimed asylum in Britain 15 years ago by posing as a Kosovo Albanian refugee. Using the name Shaqa Shatri, he was granted indefinite leave to remain and issued with a British passport, police said.

He was discovered when he used his real name to apply for welfare benefits, according to the media. Kumbaro was granted bail when he appeared before an extradition court in London in September.

We believe that Ilir Kumbaro has not fled the UK but has in all likelihood left London and is being harboured by friends, said Detective Sergeant Pete Rance of the Metropolitan Police Extradition Unit.

The seriousness of his alleged crimes is the reason we want to find him, he added in a statement appealing for public help.

This is a high profile international investigation that has involved public expense in the UK.

(Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Mark Heinrich)