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Conning the con man

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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Con man – Bahraini style take 2

تأجير المناهل

بعض الإخوة الأعزاء نوابنا الأفاضل .. نراهم يتعاملون مع ديننا الإسلامي بنفس طريقة تعاملهم مع الشؤون السياسية معتقدين بأنه من الممكن لهم تشكيل الدين وما يحلله وما يحرمه حسب ما تمليه عليهم ظروف ( البزنس ) الموجودة في السوق .. يتلاعبون بالحلال والحرام ويكيفونه على المزاج وهم يعلمون بأنهم إن خدعوا الإنسان فلا يمكنهم خداع الرحمن ..

نائب للشعب ومسلم ومصلي للخمسة فروض ومؤدي لجميع المناسك الدينية من صلاة وصيام وزكاة وصدقة ، وهو دائماً ما يعطي صوته ضد المحرمات الدنيوية من شرب للمسكرات ورقص في الملاهي الليلية والنهارية الجهارية مــا يعني أنه ملتزم .. هذا الأخ النائب لديه بناية تجارية حلو ؟ وهذه البناية تقع على شارع حيوي ليلي .. حلو ؟ واستخرج لهذه البناية رخصة لإقامة فندق بثلاث نجوم .. حلو ؟ ومع الفندق رخصة بارات ( آسف يسمونها مناهل ) ورخصة للشكشكة الليلية فكيف يكون هذا حلو ؟ ..

الأخ النائب المسلم استخرج ترخيص ( فقط ) لبيع الخمر والرقص واستلام النقوط في فندقه ، ثم قام بتأجيره إلى مستثمر خليجي ولم يقم هو بالبيع أو بالإدارة والإشراف واستلام الحرام من المال .. بما يعني أن الأمــــوال التي يستلمها مــــن المستــأجر ( المستثمر لفندقه ) حلال زلال ، وإذا كانت هنــاك ( شبهة ) في مال الخمر والرقص فهو منها بريء وسوف يكون مثواه الجنة إن شاء الله .. أما الذي سوف يذهــب إلى النار ويكتوي بالمال فهو المستأجر ..

آنه إللي باط كبدي إنه يتاجر بشغلة ويتبرأ منها ويصوت ضدها في مجلس النواب .. يعني ألحين إللي يصوت في المجلس ضد الحانات والبارات وضد المراقص العربية والكباريهات في البحرين ويطالب بإغلاقها أليس المفروض منه والأحسن له الابتعاد عـــن المتــاجرة فيهـا نهائياً ؟ وإلا شرايكم يا جماعة ؟ ..

طبعاً إحنه لا نتكلم عن المستثمر الخليجي إللي تورط في إستئجار الفندق لاحقاً مع أنه تمصمص من المدخولات العالية سابقاً .. ولكننا بس ننصح الناس إللي عندها بيوت من زجاج بأن لا ترمي بيوت الآخرين بالحجارة والحصى .. الآخرين لو تكسرت بيوتهم فلا من شاف ولا من درى ، لكن النواب عليهم العيون مفتوحة .. فاحذروا ..

Salman bin Sager :: Al-Waqt :: 2 April, ‘2007

Salman bin Sager is calling our attention to a sitting MP who owns a hotel but in order to stand for parliament and appear more acceptable to his voters he got rid of the hotel (temporarily) by leasing it to a Saudi investor. It’s a crappy 2-star hotel but has a bar and a disco and is on a main thoroughfare; hence, is assured of a good income.

What the investor did not bank on; however, is the right honourable MP diligently working within parliament to support the motion to close all bars and discos in hotels of sub-five-star standard. That naturally included the property he leased too! That of course resulted in loss of income and obviously he felt cheated by the good MP and wanted redress. Off to court he went to salvage what is left of his investment.

That investment is – according to another report – is a lease of BD27,000 a month (US$71,400) and he wants to retrieve the post-dated cheques he paid the MP with, 14 of them according to the report which equate to BD378,000 (or about a cool million US). I somehow think that the MP will sit this one out. He’s enjoying parliamentary immunity too much, you see, he can’t be touched, even though that he negated the spirit of the agreement and acted in bad faith, he can’t be touched.

The investor lodged the case against the MP in a Saudi court (which in itself is a brain fart! imagine him explaining to the Shari’a judge that he lost his income because an MP in Bahrain lobbied against bars and discos! I can tell you what that judge will do, probably throw the investor in jail!)

Just so you know, during the run-up to the parliamentary elections I noticed that one candidate was very active in some vigilante activities in apprehending hookers in Hoora and Gudaybia to “clean up the area” he said. The fact that he happens to own a hotel, which, according to the Commercial Registrations records is called the Relax Inn, did not deter him at all. Some have suggested that what he was really doing is getting rid of competition!

I wonder if this is the MP that is implicated in all this?

Anyway, if the MP has any decency, he would not only return those uncashed cheques to the investor, but also compensate him for the breach of trust willingly. He should also change that vice den of his to apartments and rent them to his destitute constituents at a reasonable cost, especially considering the length of time “his people” have been waiting for council housing.

I somehow don’t think that any of these suggestions will happen any time soon.

We deserve the parliament we voted for.

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