A SELF-confessed scammer has fled to Gibraltar from Spain with a pregnant woman’s rental deposit, leaving her facing homelessness.
Londoner Abdelkarim [Karim] Moumene, 27, allegedly scarpered with €2,300 in cash after advertising a flat he didn’t own on rental portals.
The wheeler dealer left Irish expat Hannah Nolan, 26, and her partner €800 out of pocket over the property in Barcelona.
Another young couple also lost €900 after Moumene allegedly pocketed their rental deposit, via an advert he placed on Idealista.com.
Five-month pregnant Nolan, a teacher who lives in Barcelona, only realised she and her partner had been conned when an estate agent demanded they leave.
She told the Olive Press how the agent ended up trying to break down the door, accusing them of squatting and telling them to move out immediately.
“Karim is outrageous,” she said. “He had seemed so charming but then he conned us.”
She added: “We wanted to find a place together for the remainder of my pregnancy before I returned to my native Ireland to have the baby.
“We’re both young, so don’t have have a lot of spare income and it is almost impossible to find a room in Barcelona for a couple. It has been very stressful.”
She has now reported the theft to Barcelona police and continues to try and pressurise Moumene to return the money, including contacting his family and launching a social media campaign against him.
She has now finally tracked him down to Gibraltar through his friends, and discovered he has been drinking in well-known Main Street pub the Horseshoe over recent weeks.
One member of staff told the Olive Press last night that he had indeed been drinking there recently.
The barmaid said: “He didn’t really talk much about himself. Just sat for a few pints and kept himself to himself.”
This week, in an astonishing confession, Moumene also wrote to Nolan asking for forgiveness.
It came after she wrote to his mother in England insisting she put pressure on her son.
In the email he wrote that he was sorry he conned her and that she had ‘every right to be livid’ with him. He admitted it was a ‘scam’.
It is not known how many other people he has ripped off.
The Olive Press has discovered that the conman worked for four years at Barcelona’s Cheers Irish bar where, strangely, he used the name ‘John’, manager Sam Olsson revealed.
Police in Barcelona refused to give more details on the case, while police in Gibraltar confirmed they would be handing our dossier over to the intelligence department.
Moumene did not reply to emails.
Have you been the victim of a rental scam like this in Spain? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org