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12 April 2012, 13:51 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
Two conmen, including one from Manchester have been jailed for trying to trick a finance company out of £1.5 million have been jailed.
51 year old Shane Martin, of Hillview, Cotebrook, Tarporley, Cheshire, and 47 year old Ahmed Ali, of Hadfield Close, Manchester, admitted fraud and were each jailed for two-and-a-half years.
They used two fake sheikhs to pose as wealthy Arab brothers Malthoum and Said Mebjar and “hijacked” a £6 million London property to secure the loan.
But Andrew Bloom, managing director of Masthaven, became suspicious and called in police.
A sting operation was arranged with undercover officers at a West End hotel.
The fraudsters were arrested when two men arrived dressed as sheikhs, the court heard.
“Both dressed in Arab gear and were posing as the Mebjars,” said Jonathan Kinnear QC, prosecuting.
He said the sheikhs, who did not exist, were put forward to guarantee the loan with an expensive property.
The flat, which was on sale, was hijacked using paperwork from the Land Registry in 2010.