A BUSINESSMAN has denied swindling thousands of dinars from people in connection with an alleged investment scam.

The 64-year-old Bahraini appeared at the High Criminal Court where he pleaded not guilty to fraud.

He is accused of conning three investors into handing him BD100,000 over a three-year period.The defendant said that he placed the funds in stocks and shares abroad and lost the lot when the investments plunged in value.“I collected money from my friends in connection to investments but I did not trick them into handing me the money,” he said in a statement to prosecutors. “I collected around BD100,000 because they were interested in investing their money and buying shares.“

I met them several times at coffee shops and they kept on insisting on giving me their money.”He said that the complainants initially made thousands of dinars in profits before the shares took a dive. “Shares are risky and it’s not always easy to make profits,” he added. “At the beginning I handed them thousands of dinars in profits before I lost all their money on the stock market.”A 71-year-old Bahraini told the court that he handed the defendant BD58,000 of his savings after he was slowly hooked by the investment sales pitch.

“I trusted him,” he added, “I was told he would invest my money in shares in a food company in the UK and that he would give me 20 per cent in profits.

“I initially gave him BD2,000 before he returned with BD500 and said it was the profit from that sum. I continued giving him cash on his request before he pocketed my BD58,000.

“I was shocked when I found out all the money was gone and he told me that I could go to the police if I had a problem with him.”The trial has been adjourned until Tuesday for review.

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