A conman who posed as an rental housing agent and stole some €110,000 from expats and foreign students should be jailed for 40 months, the public prosecution department has told a court in Amsterdam.
In total, the prosecution department is now aware of 41 complaints against Mohammed Farhan Malik who was first arrested in 2018 and then again for the same offence last year.
Malik offered his properties via Facebook using some 10 false names. After the viewing candidates were told that they could have the house, on payment of a deposit, commission and a month’s rent.
Candidates were eventually told that the deal could not go through and Malik failed to repay the cash.
The public prosecutor said it is ‘no coincidence’ that Malik targeted expats, because they do not know how the system works or speak the language. He was ‘shameless in taking advantage of the tremendous shortage of housing in Amsterdam,’ the prosecutor said.
Malik told the court that he is extremely sorry about his actions, blaming a gambling addiction and a broken relationship.
The court will rule on the case on January 22.
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