x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Conman told UAE victims he could rid them of 'evil spirits'

The Egyptian man preyed on superstitious people and told them he could solve their problems in exchange for cash and jewellery.

SHARJAH // An Egyptian alleged to have conned people out of Dh136,000 in cash and gold after claiming he could rid them of evil spirits and solve their problems has been arrested.

The 47-year-old man, identified as Tarzan, preyed on superstitious people and said he could solve their problems in exchange for cash and jewellery, said a police spokesman.

"The victims told police they believed the fraudster's claims of solving problems and handed over money and jewellery to him, but they were astonished when they stayed in problems.

"When the fraudster suspected he had no more believers, he planned to escape back to his country but police were already looking for him. He was arrested at the Sharjah International Airport with large sums of money and gold."

The suspect confessed to officers after being arrested and said he would target people on the street who looked stressed and tell them he could solve any kind of problems.

"Some victims used to take him to their homes. On entering he made them believe there was a harmful spell there and that he could put it out," said the spokesman.

"He asked his victims to bring him jewellery to purify their homes, or to give him cash so he could donate to charity, but he kept the cash and jewels."

The suspect has been referred to prosecutors.

ykakande@thenational.ae