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Innocence betrayed

Innocence betrayed

A man in a Saudi jail conned 45 women, most of whom are teachers, out of thousands of Saudi riyals, reports Arab News. He convinced some women that he’s a matchmaker and others that he can help them transfer schools.

February 4, 2009 2:15 by

A man serving time in a Taif jail was found to be operating a scam from detention that defrauded 45 women with the help of an accomplice in Jeddah.

According to Al-Madinah newspaper yesterday, citing police sources, the inmate was charging female teachers for marital matchmaking services or for help facilitating their transfers to other public schools, or both.

The name of the inmate was not disclosed, but police claim he confessed to his racketeering crime.

One of the victims complained to Jeddah police recently that the suspect extorted SR70,000 (AED68,650) from her, posing sometimes as a matchmaker and at other times as a highly placed suitor who desired her to be his companion for life.

She also said he promised he would be able to arrange her transfer to a school close to her future husband’s home, the daily reported. Col. Misfar Al-Joaed, police spokesman in Jeddah, said the man even imitated a woman’s voice over the phone when he would pose as a matchmaker.

The victim said in her complaint that she first received a call months ago from the inmate who claimed to be an influential matchmaker. He allegedly told her that there was an ideal suitor for her outside of Jeddah and that he could arrange for a transfer to another school near the suitor’s home if she agreed to the marriage.

Shortly afterward she received a call from the suitor and repeated the matchmaker’s offer. After that she used to receive calls at varying intervals asking for money for transfer and other marriage arrangements. She paid a total of SR70,000 (AED68,650) to the suitor’s accomplice in Jeddah in installments. Months passed and nothing happened, she said. The teacher also got suspicious because the suitor never visited her even though he promised to come to Jeddah several time.

She eventually called the suitor and wanted her money back, but the man refused saying that she could not prove that he received money from her.

The woman immediately complained to Jeddah police, the daily said, who eventually tracked down the accomplice and arrested him. During interrogation the accomplice fingered his partner in crime, and said the two had planned to split the proceeds of their scam.

It is not known if any of the other alleged victims of the crime have been tracked down. An investigation continues, police said.

First seen in Arab News.

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