Hunt for conman in $700,000 fraud in Bahrain
Manama, August 16, 2014
An international manhunt could be launched to locate an Iraqi man, who fled Bahrain after allegedly conning a Bahraini woman out of BD266,000 ($701,000), a report said.
A police complaint has been launched by Maza Sa'ad, who claims the 54-year-old businessman pocketed a BD70,000 investment in a restaurant in Isa Town and took out loans totalling BD150,000 under her name, reported our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News (GDN).
He also issued three cheques worth a combined total of BD46,000, confirmed police sources.
The woman's husband, Abdulla Isa, said he believed the alleged conman, who was a family friend, returned to his hometown in Iraq.
"We have known this man for the last seven years and had good relations with him and his sister," he told the GDN.
"His sister, who I believe is still in Bahrain, approached us in June this year and asked to help him.
"She said he was not earning enough working as a chef in a small restaurant and said he could be a good partner if given chance. My wife, who is a close friend of his sister's, trusted them and took the initiative. She took a commercial registration (CR) to open a restaurant and they both decided to become partners."
Isa said they had invested their life savings in the restaurant, called Sufrat Al Baghdadi.
"The biggest mistake of our life was that we trusted this man and invested all our savings in this business," he said.
"My wife doesn't know much about business and she was excited about the business and signed a power of attorney and gave him all the authorities, as the man promised her good profit every month. He took over and started managing everything and said he would bring good business."
He alleged that the Iraqi, who cannot be named for legal reasons, started taking loans from different banks, totally BD150,000, under his 57-year-old wife's name.
"We invested BD70,000 in this business, bought equipment and hired employees," he said.
"Then this man went to big banks and took loans on the restaurant CR, which was registered under my wife's name and CPR number. We didn't even know that he fled the country until one day we got a call from one of the banks saying we have pending instalments, which we have to pay."
Isa said they tried to track the Iraqi man down for almost a week before filing an official police complaint.
"We had no other option, so we went to the Isa Town Police Station and filed a complaint against him," he added. "We lost everything and our restaurant is facing closure as the employees are threatening to leave because we didn't pay them for two months. Another headache is that we keep on getting calls from banks, which are asking for their instalments."
Police sources told the GDN the businessman was on the run and Interpol could be brought in to trace his whereabouts.
"A fraud case was filed by a Bahraini woman against an Iraqi man," said sources.
"He was running her shop and issued three cheques worth BD46,000 on the name of the shop, but they all bounced. The woman believes the man went back to his country. He could be arrested at any moment if there is a warrant by Interpol." - TradeArabia News Service