Con man claiming to be Prophet's descendant captured
GEBZE, Kocaeli - Doğan News Agency (DHA)
Police try to calm the people gathering near the courthouse. DHA photo
Mustafa Mallı, who allegedly cheated 1,049 families out of their money by promising cheap apartments, was caught by the police today in the northwestern province of Kocaeli.
Mallı had collected money and gold from families in exchange for membership in a fake housing project in Kocaeli before disappearing in 2008.
Victims said Mallı gained their trust by claiming that his family came from Prophet Muhammad's lineage and said, "Whoever buys a home from us will be buying a home from Paradise."
Those who heard of Mallı's capture rushed to the courhouse in Kocaeli's Gebze district. A crowd of around 250 people gathered, yelling, "we want justice."
Some victims wept, saying they lost their life savings to Mallı.
Riot police was deployed around to courthouse to prevent a possible confrontation.
Seventy-year-old Mustafa Zile said he gave more than 100 Republican gold coins, which are currently valued at around $360 each, to Mallı before he vanished.
A woman said she gave Mallı more than 50 Republican gold coins after he said buying a home from him would be the same as going to Mecca for pilgrimage.
"They even took some people to Mecca," she said. "We trusted them, we cut down on our children's daily bread to give them money."