An international property fraudster who duped investors with fake developments in Dubai and Spain faces another 30 years in jail.
Maz Akhtar, once hailed as a charismatic property guru, has been convicted by a Dubai court on 30 counts. He is already serving a one year in jail term after last year being found guilty of deceit and embezzlement.
It was reported Akhtar, a UK national also known as Maz Khan, had defrauded Dubai residents of over Â£2m. He has also left a trail of multi million pound scams in Ireland, Norway, Malta and Spain.
In Norway his property marketing company went into liquidation leaving investors with heavy losses. In Ireland investors complained they lost over Â£2m in a pyramid selling scam linked to metal and coin dealing.
Wanted internationally, Akhtar was arrested in Dubai in January last year following a high speed dash to the Abu Dhabi airport in his Ferrari.
Among the developments he marketed through his company, HK Inversiones, was the fictitious Reserva de Miraflores in Spain, which he began â€˜sellingâ€™ in Dubai in 2003. This he described as â€˜an elegant gated community of Mediterranean style villas and apartments, situated near Manilva, a highly sought after location, ideally suited to both investors and residential buyersâ€™.
A company statement said it had been â€˜delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response so far to the Reservaâ€™, and claimed it had sold 70 per cent of the development in less than four months.
Other bogus developments marketed by Akhtar were the Star Islands project in Sharjah and the Seven Wonders of the World project in Dubai. Dubai officials picked up that he was marketing developments that had not been started and as long ago as 2004 issued a warning that one of his developments did not even have planning permission.
A favourite marketing method was through the use of free seminars. Promotion for one such seminar in Abu Dhabi promised that â€˜international property and investment specialist Maz Akhtarâ€™ would â€˜share his valuable insight, and reveal the secrets of success for investing in overseas propertyâ€™.
It claimed â€˜HK property seminars have been a huge hit in Europe, with people getting exclusive information on exactly what to look for, and how to maximise their return.
â€˜It seems where Maz goes is the place to go, and right now his hottest tip is southern Spainâ€™s Costa Del Sol. Spain is a star performer among world property markets, with house prices continuing to climb every year by between 15 per cent and 50 per centâ€™.
Maz wonâ€™t now be going anywhere for some time.
Under Dubai law Akhtar needed a Dubai national as a majority shareholder for his company. His troubles are said to have started locally when the man he had talked into this, Mohammed Meer Khori, received a call from a friend saying he had invested in one of the companyâ€™s developments about which Khori knew nothing.