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Wolf in sheep’s clothing- Landlord loses RM 22,000 to tenant who claimed to be a "Millionaire Sheik"

When a local businessman was approached by a foreigner to rent a service apartment at in Jalan Dutamas, he reckoned he had found the perfect tenant. Little did he know that this harmless encounter would cost him RM21,600 in losses.

His apartment-to-let advertisement was responded to by a Palestinian-born United Arab Emirates national along with his wife and five-year-old son who seemed to be from a well-off family, as the man claimed to be a son of a Sheikh who had millions at his disposal from the family’s gold-mining business. Without any hesitancy, the man paid RM7,500 upfront and fulfilled all required terms before the keys to the apartment were handed to him by the owner.

Red flags begin to arise when he failed to pay subsequent dues but more shocking than that was the fact of him getting arrested by police who stormed into the apartment on suspicion of him being linked to terrorist activities. This was when the unsuspecting owner also discovered the damage that took place to his unit; the wall paint had been severely peeled off and certain lighting fixtures ripped out from their respective ports, while furniture was also severely destroyed. This led him to make a police report on the matter.

Source: Wikipedia

The rogue tenant was remanded by police for a week and then released as there was no evidence of him being a terrorist as alleged. The owner met him soon after and give him a deadline to settle his dues or face eviction. However, on that very same day, he owner noticed him carrying some luggage and asked him what was going on. The rogue tenant claimed he was doing some laundry and vowed he would return after that to settle his dues. This was the last time the owner would ever see him and his family.

A second police report was made by the owner and the estimate losses was RM 21,600, which included a broken chandelier, missing grill in an oven and a steel rod from a wardrobe which was modified into a television antenna amongst others.

Source: Flickr

It was also learnt that this rogue tenant had conned a neighbour from another floor, a woman from Belarus who was a director of private firm and had just been transferred to KL from Labuan. He and his wife had befriended the lady while waiting for the elevator and invited her to join them for coffee at a nearby café. He told her that he was the owner of the unit he was occupying and appeared to be a decent family man.

Several days later, this rogue tenant shows up at this woman’s doorstep, pleading that she loan him money. He claimed that his wife was having an asthma attack and he needed to take her to the hospital, hence he needed RM750 as he had already reached his withdrawal limit for the day. Feeling sympathetic, the woman loaned him the money which he duly repaid the next day as promised.

A week later, and this man once again approaches this woman, requesting to borrow money urgently, claiming that there was some money transferred to him which was stuck in Dubai and which would require him to put up RM 500 to secure its release. This was the beginning of a string of more absurd requests to come, which would also be accompanied by antics such as crying, swearing and fake promises of repayment. This woman from Belarus who took pity on him eventually ended up parting with RM 7,500. By the time she had learnt that he was actually a tenant in the building and not the owner of the unit he was occupying, she made a police report on the matter, however the man and his family had silently absconded by then.

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