Conning the con man

6 May, '07
آسيوي يستأجر فندقاً بـ 27 ألفاً بشيك مرتجع

أمر رئيس النيابة العامة فهد بونوفل أمس (السبت) بحبس متهم آسيوي، وهو وكيل لأحد الخليجيين، استأجر أحد الفنادق بشيكات مقدمة، وعند حلول موعد الاستحقاق تبين أن تلك الشيكات مرتجعة، وتبلغ قيمة الشيك 27 ألف دينار، وهو عبارة عن قيمة إيجار الفندق لمدة شهر واحد.

وتتلخص القضية في أن أحد الخليجيين استأجر الفندق من مالكه، واتفق الطرفان على تقديم المستأجر إلى المؤجر شيكات مقدمة لمدة معينة، إلا أنه وعند صدور قرار وزارة الإعلام بمنع بيع المشروبات الروحية في بعض الفنادق وغلق الصالات الفنية، وكل الخليجي مدير الفندق وهو آسيوي الجنسية بتوقيع الشيكات، وعند حلول موعد استحقاقها تبين أنها مرتجعة فتقدم صاحب الفندق بشكوى ضد الآسيوي إلا أن النيابة العامة أفرجت عنه في بادئ الأمر بكفالة مالية، وبقدوم الشهر الآخر وحلول موعد استحقاق الشيك الآخر، تجددت الشكوى ضد المتهم الآسيوي، فقررت النيابة العامة حبسه، وتقديمه إلى المحكمة الصغرى الجنائية التي حددت يوم الإثنين المقبل موعداً لأولى جلسات نظر القضية.
الوسط – Ù¦ مايو ٢٠٠٧

This is just too interesting to let go of as it contains all the elements of a cheap novel!

It’s got a gullible protagonist who wants to get rich quick and falls in the honey-pot of the antagonist who is a known con man who convinces him that the best way of doing so is leasing his hotel for a seemingly reasonable figure, especially when you consider the takings of just the booze sale in that sub 5-star establishment which contains everything a prowling sex-tourist is looking for.

Hands are shaken and the protagonist hands over sackfuls of cash in the form of post-dated cheques and assigns a resident hotel manager to ensure that the guests are well taken care of and hence the cash intake continues to flow.

That’s when the antagonist puts his plan into action – probably unbeknown to the protagonist – and stands for public office, one that he is carried on paid shoulders to by resolutely defeating the incumbent.

As the election promises were religious in nature – which is the cheapest sure ticket in the arsenal and one that is readily accepted by the neophyte and paid-for voters – he has hit several nails with one strike of the hammer: He mounted a campaign to clean up his constituency from prostitution and went on the rampage as a vigilante knight-in-not-so-shining-armour and apprehended several hookers and presented them to the police, he filed complaints against some 40 establishments in his area which he claimed are dens of drink and prostitution (his hotel was obviously omitted from that illustrious list) and generally made a fool of himself to the authorities so much so that the ministry of interior slapped him down and told him to mind his own business and that it is the police’s job and not his to go around catching wayward prostitutes.

No mater, he demonstrated his “purity” to his financially encouraged and Islamically correct constituents that he legally no longer operates a hotel in which patrons relax through copious flow of non-Islamically sanctified liquids but gets paid a generous lease for nevertheless.

His hands are clean, conscience non-existent, bank balance remains healthy enough for a pretty nice big black bling of a car (probably several). It is no wonder that this newly elected MP promised to donate all or a large part of his parliamentary salary to the benefit of his newly acquired constituents! When he receives nine times that salary from the lease of the hotel, I understand the generosity.

You would think that the relationship – beneficial as it has proven to be for all involved – would have continued as is, save for one little thing: that Islamic ticket the newly anointed MP was riding. He had to continue to at least appear as a “protector of the faith”, therefore he chose to support and vote for the banning of the sale of alcohol and shutting down of entertainment venues in sub five-star hotels, a decision which will include his hotel obviously.

That was the deal-breaker.

Chasing prostitutes and closing down or at least harassing competing businesses in the area was one thing, it was actually good business, everyone was directed to relax in that there establishment, one that was supposedly ensured by his excellency not to be harassed. But voting to shut down the main source of revenue, uh uh, this cannot be stood for.

That’s when the claws came out and cat-fights ensued.

The protagonist proved to be quite a proficient con man himself. He set up his “joker”. He authorised his resident hotel manager to sign lease cheques on his behalf.

When the investor saw the huge drop in revenue – as no one would want to stay in that dump anyway – he started screaming blue-murder and wanted to cancel the lease agreement. He even filed suit against the antagonist to retrieve what is left of his post-dated cheques, the total of which were about million dollars. So it’s no chicken feed. It’s a hefty sum that would keep the honey flowing for our newly anointed MP.

The investor probably finally realised that trying to get the cheques back were a futile exercise and chasing it through legal channels (in a dry country which takes the tenets of Islamic Shari’a rather seriously) was bound to failure. So what is a guy to do?

Clean up the account and run!

The end of the month came, our guy wanted to get his blingy car filled up with petrol, tried to cash the cheque, and, it bounced!

Oh ho! What to do now? Okay okay, try to solve it amicably and I suspect quite a number of high-decibel conversations took place between the parties concerned, things dragged on and another month came and went and another cheque bounced. The well was definitely running dry(er) so the owner went to the police with the bounced cheques. He wanted his money.

We can’t have that. In Bahrain you would probably receive a more lenient sentence for a heinous crime than for bouncing a cheque. What’s wrong with you? This is money and that takes precedence!

The police has to act, and act they did.

Who signed those cheques?

Bring the bastard in.

And we have another poor Indian rotting in prison for no (total) fault of his own other than probably personal greed and gullibility.

The rest, as you can imagine, would be very interesting to find out over the coming months.

Stay tuned to the saga of conning the con man!

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Comments (5)

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  1. tooners says:

    spicy!! can’t wait to read the 2nd chapter! :whistle:

  2. أبو الكلام says:

    Now yours is the news with many of its roots exposed; that of Alwasat is the one with all of them still underground.

    Thanks for that. I am impressed by the ability to gather this information and by the backbone you must be having to publish such vivid reporting.

    While the MP’s name is (in)famous enough to need no further exposure, would you please say whether he was the recepient or issuer of the cheques? And in your mind, analysis or findings, on what legal basis was the agent (arguably an innocent one) booked? Coz he – himself – was not a party to any of the transcations involved? – i.e. the contracts/payments/etc.

    I sure would:

    stay tuned to the saga of conning the con man!

  3. Moclippa says:

    Mahmood, great piece, loved every bit of it! — Ditto to Tooners.

  4. F says:

    Fascinating story – I’m sure there are a few more like him operating
    entities the same way.

  5. Maverick says:

    Extremely well written M!
    Nice way to tell the story without naming characters.
    Look forward to more of this and others.
    You should be a journalist…..hey… you are better…. you are a blogger. 😉 :biggrin:

    Keep it up M! 😎

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