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Sun 18 Mar 2012 12:39 PM

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Saudi expat gets 6 years in jail, 600 lashes for sorcery

Man swindled US$147,000 from woman by selling ‘magical therapy’ for her hair

Saudi expat gets 6 years in jail, 600 lashes for sorcery
The 40-year old foreign resident appeared before the Riyadh General Court earlier this week.

An Arab expatriate living in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to six years in jail and 600 lashes after being convicted of sorcery and fraud, Arab News has reported.

The 40-year old foreign resident appeared before the Riyadh General Court earlier this week, accused of swindling SR550,000 (US$147,000) from a local woman by promising her a magical cure to help her hair grow, according to the daily.

Police said the defendant initially asked her for SR20,000 for a herbal therapy, and that she could pay the rest of the money in installments.

The complainant went to the police after the ‘magical treatment’ failed to stop her hair falling out.

Upon arrest, the expatriate man had in his possession a ring, a black gemstone - which he claimed had special powers - and a list of ‘magical ingredients’.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

Billy 8 years ago

Have to say although the chap was wrong for what he did 600 lashes and 6 years in jail is massively over the top. Why not force him to pay back the money, plus a little interest and do some rehabilitation time that would serve the community. At the same time if we agree to let the punishment fit the crime - sentence the local woman to 6 months community service for stupidity

procan 8 years ago

Billy just asking, isn't 600 lashes a death penalty.Can not figure how any human could survive that kind of physical abuse and live.

Meraj 8 years ago

It is such strict punishment that has made Saudi Arabia one of the safest countries in the world.I would rather have such "over the top" punishment than live in a society where you can be mugged in any street corner or conned out of your money by anyone

Lizzi 8 years ago

This is one of the most rediculous punishments i've heard. He's a con-artist, so community service and repayment of the money fraudulently obtained would be an ample penalty. Absurd punishments such as these, just make the country look bad. The stupidity of the local woman is reflected in the sentencing of Mr. Magic Man.

Andy 8 years ago

I agree. 600 lashes is pretty much a death penalty. Not sure how any human could survive that kind of abuse either.

fencesitter 8 years ago

Some information is processed faster in the brain when injected with a certain amount of pain sensation

Jake 8 years ago

I wonder who can leash out 600 times, I mean, why is no one thinking of the poor hangman.

Doug 8 years ago

and we're all busting down the doors to live there because of your "safety". If someone conned me out of a lot of money and they were sentenced to something that will kill them, I'd tell them to keep the money and forget the whole thing. I think that you're on your own there. Enjoy your "safety".

SAM 8 years ago

The country looks bad to a westerner no matter what they do and last I heard, they did not qualify for the prestigious "Best place to live in" award. Fairness of the penal system is another story and I agree that the punishment is harsh and may dent Harry Potter's plans for vacationing over there. But that's their law and they seem to be OK with it.

SAM 8 years ago

I get teary-eyed when I realize that there is so much concern from western expats over the plight of an Arab petty criminal. Truly touching. God bless.