Three Sudanese and a fourth fugitive allegedly conned two Algerians of $950,000 after convincing them that they were under magic spells, the Dubai Criminal Court heard.
BS, 40, MA, 48 and AH, 53, are also accused of attempting to forge $349,000.
The first victim, SS, 44, Algerian met BS, 40, Sudanese, two years ago through two mutual Sudanese friends.
BS asked the Algerian and his friend NT, 37, to start a sheep trading business between Sudan and Algeria.
“After a number of meetings with BS, we decided that I shall pay him $30,000 to finish procedures for setting up a company. My friend NT, and I went to his residence in Ajman and handed him the amount.
"While we were in his house, he showed us large quantity of US$ notes telling that he is in a good financial position. He also gave us some of the notes and asked us to exchange them and check them if they were genuine.
“We took the notes and headed to a money exchange company where we were assured that the notes were genuine.
“After, we returned to his house he asked us to extended the partnership and asked us to pay him $150,000,” said the Algerian.
The two Algerians arranged the $150,000 and handed it to the Sudanese in a café in Abu Hail area.
The Sudanese then told the two Algerians that they were under magic spells and demonic attacks and offered his help heal them.
“He used to burn incense and then asks us to wash using perfumed and incensed water. After a couple of months he told us that only his friend Abu Ali could lift the curse,” said one of the victims, SS.
The Algerians met Abu Ali (fugitive) and the latter asked each of them to pay him $200,000 to lift the curse.
“When we met Abu Ali, he showed us a bag that contained a large quantity of US dollars and told us that he is in a very good financial position and does not need money.
“However, he told us that he cannot release us from the curse unless we pay with our money in order to get positive result,” said SS.
The Algerians managed the amount through friends in France and handed it to Abu Ali in the same café in Abu Hail.
Abu Ali told the Algerians that the treatment would take a long time and asked them for more money.
“Abu Ali used to ‘treat’ us for six months and we used to pay him in installments - totaling $200,000, each,” the Algerians said.
After that, Ali disappeared and then in April, the first Sudanese, BS, called the Algerians and told them that MA, 40, will arrive from Sudan specifically to continue their treatment. SS was asked to rent him a flat in Dubai and so he did.
“BS also told us that the new therapist will return our money by asking ‘jinns’ (spirits) to bring it down from the sky,” said the second victim, NT, 37.
“The new therapist told us that the previous treatment was wrong and asked us to pay him - $130,000 for my friend and $40,000 for me - as he will treat us from scratch,” said NT.
“In a flat they showed us a large quantity of US$ notes in the corner and asked us not to touch it and or even come close to it.
“They asked us to bring our dollars to mix them with this large amount and then jinns would make our money fall from the sky. They said they will return all the amounts we paid,” said SS.
The Algerians got out from the flat very confused and scared and realised that they were being swindled.
They went to a nearby hotel to have some coffee. In the hotel, they met an old Sudanese friend and after chatting for some time, the latter advised to inform the police.
The Algerians informed the police on November 15, 2015.
Police arrested the gang: BS, and his compatriots, MA, 48, and AH, 53.
Abu Ali remains at large.
The Dubai Prosecution asked the court to award the accused stiffest penalty.
The court will reconvene on March 16.