Conmen jailed over fake sheikh scam
Thursday 12 April 2012
Conmen who pretended to be sheikhs to trick a finance company out of £1.5 million were jailed today at the Old Bailey.
They used two fake sheikhs to pose as wealthy Arab brothers Malthoum and Said Mebjar and "hijacked" a £6 million London property to secure the loan.
But Andrew Bloom, managing director of Masthaven, became suspicious and called in police.
A sting operation was arranged with undercover officers at a West End hotel.
The fraudsters were arrested when two men arrived dressed as sheikhs, the court heard.
"Both dressed in Arab gear and were posing as the Mebjars," said Jonathan Kinnear QC, prosecuting.
He said the sheikhs, who did not exist, were put forward to guarantee the loan with an expensive property.
The flat, which was on sale, was hijacked using paperwork from the Land Registry in 2010.
Mortgage broker Jonathan Flynn, 38, was found guilty of fraud and jailed for four-and-a-half years and banned from being a director of a company for seven years.
Flynn, of Woodhall Lane, Stanningley, Pudsey, West Yorks, was said by the judge to have played an important part in the fraud.
Shakil Ahmed, 36, of Bourne Terrace, Paddington, west London, pleaded guilty and was jailed for three years in his absence, having fled on bail.
Shane Martin, 51, of Hillview, Cotebrook, Tarporley, Cheshire, and Ahmed Ali, 47, of Hadfield Close, Manchester, also admitted their guilt and were each jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Detective Constable Lizzie Roberts, from City of London Police, said: "The gang used forged documents, a fake property valuation and dressed as sheikhs to try and disguise their true intentions, which was to commit a major fraud.
"But none of this was enough to overcome sound business practices and an investigation team ready to act quickly."
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital in London where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Nepal earthquake: Rescuers forced to dig with their bare hands in search for survivors as images show damage to historic buildings
Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson in angry clash live on BBC's Andrew Marr Show
Bali Nine executions: British grandmother on death row in Indonesia Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years