Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 February 2020

Supercar-driving FBI Most Wanted suspect arrested in UAE

Scottish-born accused fraudster Afzal 'Bobby' Khan once appeared in the Real Housewives of New Jersey

Mugshot images of Edinburgh-born alleged fraudster Afzal 'Bobby' Khan, who the FBI said was arrested in the Emirates last week. He was extradited to New Jersey on Monday. Courtesy: FBI Most Wanted
Mugshot images of Edinburgh-born alleged fraudster Afzal 'Bobby' Khan, who the FBI said was arrested in the Emirates last week. He was extradited to New Jersey on Monday. Courtesy: FBI Most Wanted

A flamboyant car showroom owner wanted for fraud by the FBI has been apprehended in the UAE.

Afzal Khan surrendered himself in Abu Dhabi and was flown from the Emirates to New Jersey on Monday.

He had been on the agency's Most Wanted 'white collar criminals' list for five years.

His wife Stephanie said he "surrendered on his own... willingly" at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi last month.

Khan, originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, was sought by the authorities over an alleged $1.7 million (Dh6.2m) luxury car scam.

The 37-year-old, known as 'Bobby', is accused of conning wealthy customers and companies using his Emporio Motor Group dealership in New Jersey.

Gregory W Ehrie, special agent-in-charge at the FBI's Newark office, said: "Mr Khan came to the sobering reality that he could not outrun the FBI."

FBI documents and reports in the United States said the huge fraud involved Lamborghinis, Porsches and Rolls-Royces and bank loans.

He is accused of obtaining loans for cars that he never delivered, but that the buyer was responsible for.

He is further alleged to have offered to sell cars for customers but failed to return the cars or money from any sales.

The FBI have reportedly identified at least 75 victims and Khan now faces five charges of wire fraud involving 21 loans. He could spend up to 100 years in jail if convicted on all counts.

Before going on the run, Khan was known for his expensive style and appeared on the hit television show Real Housewives of New Jersey as a guest, in which he is pictured getting out of a supercar.

"People who flee to other countries to avoid prosecution only delay the inevitable and live every day with the knowledge that we are still in pursuit," Agent Ehrie said.

"Mr Khan obviously reached the conclusion that it wasn't worth it."

Agent Ehrie thanked "the dedicated members of law enforcement whose hard work and determination forced the hand of this fugitive and will now bring him to justice".

Khan's FBI wanted poster said he had ties to the UAE, Canada, UK and Pakistan. He was born in Edinburgh to Pakistani parents and moved to the US more than 20 years ago.

When police arrived at his New Jersey home in October 2014, he could not be found.

Later, after years on the run with his family, who are US citizens, he appeared on Fox News in November 2019 to say he wanted to surrender. He said he was hiding in a country with no extradition treaty with the United States.

Khan claimed he would fly to the US on a commercial flight to give himself up - but he and his family owed $60,000 in visa over-stay fees that they would have to pay at the airport.

"Let me walk into an embassy. You've got a military jet going home, throw me in with my wife and kids," he told Fox News.

During the interview he did not state if the country he was in was the UAE, but in public videos posted on Instagram this week, his wife said he had given himself up at the US Embassy in the UAE capital.

In the video, she claimed her husband had been speaking to Interpol about surrendering himself to authorities.

Khan in a live brodcast to Fox News in November in which he offered to give himself up. It is unclear where he was at the time but was arrested in the Emirates last week, the FBI said. Courtesy: Fox News
Khan in a live brodcast to Fox News in November in which he offered to give himself up. It is unclear where he was at the time but was arrested in the Emirates last week, the FBI said. Courtesy: Fox News

Updated: February 13, 2020 08:30 AM

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