Kuwait: A haris (building custodian) was happy when he received a call from a person who claimed to be a ruling family member, and told him he will help release his son from prison. His joy soon turned into misery however, when he later found out that the caller was a con artist who took advantage of the situation and took KD 260 from him.

The haris said that his son faced financial problems and was sent to prison because according to him, he could not help his son pay back money he owes to people.

The haris asked for help through a newspaper ad, and as soon as it appeared on July 9th, a man called and said he was a ‘sheikh’ and was ready to help him. The bogus sheikh asked for his Civil ID number, then called two days later and told him about all the details of his son, and said a lawyer will call him and ask for papers needed for his son’s release in prison and that he can pay his dues in installments. The lawyer then met the haris in Hawally, asked for certain papers and took KD 110 as fees.

The bogus sheikh later called and said that his mother will meet him to extend any help, so the haris thanked the sheikh for his efforts. The haris said the lawyer called again and said that he completed some procedures in regards to the case and said that it will be only two days then his son will be released and asked for KD 150, which he gave.

A friend who was with the haris told him he has doubts about the whole issue, so the haris asked some people to check the two phone numbers and found out that one number registered in the name of Lt. F.R and the second in the name of H.D. The haris added that he tried to call the two, but to no avail, and waited until the Eid holiday was over and informed police about the con act. The lawyer surprisingly called on the third day of Eid and asked for KD 140 and requested to meet him at a certain place.

The haris told him he doesn’t have a car, so the lawyer said he will come to Hawally. The haris called police who arrived and as soon as the fake lawyer arrived, he saw the police patrol, so he ran on foot but was caught and taken to Nugra police station, where he was found to be wanted. A complaint was filed at Farwaniya police station and the bogus sheikh is being sought by detectives. —Al-Rai