Munir Muzafar Fakhrud Hassanali was arrested on Sunday in Perth after he took $2.6 million from somebody he knew through their shared religious congregation.
How It All Started
Over a period of two and a half years starting in June 2017, Mr Hassanali convinced the victim (whose name has not been revealed) to give him money for various supposed businesses and investments. Every single time, Mr Hassanali would then go out to a local casino and spend it all.
Since 2017, he would regularly take loans that varied from small $1,000 amounts to massive $200,000 loans. Every time, he would show the victim paperwork explaining how he planned on invest the money – all paperwork that was fraudulent and for businesses that never existed. At certain points, he would return small amounts to keep his victim “happy” – but police estimate that just over $40,000 have been returned to date.
As a result, the victim is now undergoing financial hardship and has lost most of his savings and retirement accounts. According to a spokesperson for the WA Police, “The victim trusted the financial arrangements he was entering into were legitimate, and made that assessment based on material presented to him that turned out to be fraudulent.”
Finalizing the Arrest
Mr Hassanali was arrested after a long investigation conducted by the Financial Crimes Squad. He was found at a casino, gambling, and arrested on the spot. He immediately confessed he had lost all the money gambling and had no way of returning it. He also confirmed that he knew the victim, though he didn’t elaborate on the details.
“Based on information obtained during the investigation, we are continuing to investigate whether other people may have been approached in similar circumstances,” the police spokesperson has explained. They are also encouraging anybody who believes they have been deceived or have given money away to contact the police to make sure they have not been defrauded.
Mr Hassanali has been charged with fraud and will remain in jail until his next court appearance in January.
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