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Red alert is issued over Shamyana rental scam.

An international arrest warrant has been issued for a man suspected of being behind a major rent scam in Dubai.

Dubai Police announced yesterday that Haitham bin Mahmood bin Shukri was to be put on the Interpol wanted list.

They said the Saudi is believed to have conned 78 people out of Dhs5.8 million by renting them flats that did not belong to him.

An international arrest warrant has been issued for a man suspected of being behind a major rent scam in Dubai

Last week 7DAYS reported how the rogue real estate agent, also named as Haitham Mahmoud Al Koualty, was feared to have duped up to 400 people.

An official at Dubai CID said Al Koualty had a registered office for entertainment and organising parties in Dubai.

The official added the suspect had been renting flats and villas to people around Dubai by putting adverts on Dubizzle.

"He put adverts for empty flats belonging to others online. He conned many people saying he was representing the owners and was renting the flats for them and presented them with contracts that were not legal," said deputy director of Dubai Police General Khamis Mattar Al Muzaina.

Police said Al Koualty's victims had mainly been Europeans renting homes in the Greens. "The case is now under investigation by Dubai Public Prosecution and they have issued an Interpol warrant to arrest the suspect, said the head of Jebel Ali Police Station, Brigadier Abdul Qader Al Banai, who has been investigating the case.

"The suspect fled the country to Lebanon on August 30."

Tenants who say they were conned by Haitham welcomed the arrest warrant.

"I am glad that police have heeded our calls and issued an international arrest warrant," said Maha Ali, who had paid Dhs85,000 for a flat in the Greens.

"I am hopeful that he will very soon be arrested and brought to justice." Another victim said that the Interpol red notice will help to calm down his landlord, who has been asking him to either pay up or vacate his flat.

"This gives me some hope for having my money recovered. I believe my landlord will also spare me some time while we wait to see how events unfold," he said.

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Sep 16, 2012
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