Olive Press editor Jon Clarke spent an unusual evening in the millionaire’s villa…
I HAD been summoned to meet ‘Sacha’ at his emperor’s palace by one of the coast’s more unusual characters David ‘the Dogman’ Klein one windy night in September 2012.
Described as being long-time Estepona expat Klein’s ‘very dear’ long-time friend, the premise was to discuss a lucrative marketing deal for a university Sacha was planning for Marbella.
Why it couldn’t have been during work hours was never explained, but it was soon clear this was to be a rather mysterious night.
As soon as I arrived outside the huge gate of the massive Sierra Blanca mansion, my car was whisked away by a valet and I was ushered to the front door. It was a little unnerving.
It was like being led into Kubla Khan’s lair, this huge compound opening up into a pleasure ground of clipped hedges, soaring palm trees and a phalanx of water features. Above all, it was enormous..
All around were massive paintings, rare Persian rugs and antiques from around the world. This was very much a man of substance and he was certainly intriguing, discussing his past in Iran, his upbringing in the UK and his time on the coast.
He claimed to know the likes of President Putin and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, and insisted he knew the Russian and British secret service. There was talk of assassinations, spying and the super-rich in Zagaleta.
How much could be believed I wasn’t sure, but I also got the impression I was in some way being sized up.
Later, as we sat down to dinner I was introduced to three willowy girls, probably in their early twenties, each undeniably attractive, model-like in stature.
They were said to be graduates and ‘running the programme’ but they hardly added anything to the conversation. It didn’t instil confidence in the project.
It is anyone’s guess if Marbella’s police will ever manage to fathom the truth of what really went on behind these hidden walls. Rather them than me.