A SELF-APPOINTED crown prince of a non-existent Pacific island tricked two Hong Kong banks into opening false accounts in a bizarre fraud, a court heard yesterday. Austrian Gerhard Bacher, 22, allegedly visited a number of top banks in the territory, promoting himself as head of the 'Dominion of Melchizedek'. The 'S. H. K. Prince Gerald-Dennis Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein' - the title Bacher was said to have used to give instructions to banks - appeared in Eastern Court yesterday wearing ordinary jeans and a blue T-shirt. He is facing two charges of procuring an entry in the records of banks in Hong Kong by deception. The court was told Bacher first opened a Citi-plus account at Citibank's Queen's Road Central branch on February 15 with a cheque for $318,980, purporting to be from a Melchizedek bank. But investigators discovered that the bank, which went under the name Asia-Pacific, was not licensed in the territory, the court heard. Commercial Crime Bureau Detective Senior Inspector Alex Tan, representing the Crown, told the court the scam was repeated two weeks later. On February 27, Bacher allegedly opened an Asset Vantage account at the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, with a Bank of America (Asia) cheque for $218,000. But Mr Tan said the account did not contain sufficient funds to honour the cheque, which Bacher had allegedly obtained by fraud. Bacher reported himself to police after officers raided a friend's house following a tip-off on March 10. But when he surrendered himself, he turned out to be an Austrian passport holder. Police believed Bacher had been mostly been living in the passenger terminal at Kai Tak airport since his arrival in Hong Kong. Magistrate Yung Yiu-wing adjourned the case to June 16 for police inquiries into further alleged fraud by the defendant involving US$63,000 (HK$486,800). Bacher was remanded in custody yesterday. The principality was said to be on an island called Karitane, 1,600 kilometres south of Tahiti.