A UK hustler sentenced to eight years in prison in January 2019 has been on the run from British authorities for years. The conman, named Sami Raja, has been residing in Dubai, UAE since November 2017 after initially being arrested in the UK over a fraudulent scheme in September 2013. After his trial got delayed for several years, Raja took the opportunity to flee his country in order to avoid prosecution and being held in custody.
Between 2012 and 2013, the now-32-year-old along with four others conned 130 victims out of £2.4 million ($3.16 million). The scheme included duping elderly people into paying their life savings for useless carbon credits (any tradable certificate or permit representing the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide).
The victims would get calls from people posing as brokers. The latter would then proceed to use high-pressure sales tactics to get the people on the other end of the line to invest. Not knowing they were being scammed, the victims would then pay large amounts of money on carbon credits that had nowhere to be traded.
"Raja cruelly targeted often elderly individuals with the intention of defrauding them of their life savings. He clearly felt no remorse," said Hayley Wade, senior investigating officer in London Police.
During May 2019, Raja decided to appeal his convictions and sentencing while in Dubai. This hindered the Crown Prosecution Service's ability to extradite him from the emirate until a decision was made with regards to his appeal.
Not only has the conman been living a lavish life in Dubai and touring the world but he's made sure to flaunt it on Instagram as well.
He's shown himself relaxing in an infinity pool at a resort in the Maldives, where a single night's tag could reach up to £10,000 ($13,150). He's been also spotted wearing designer clothes and driving a $43,000 Aston Martin.
To add insult to injury, Raja posts these images with captions such as, "Aint no one bursting my bubble" and "Im living life right now man and this is what ill do till its over."
His victims have spoken up, calling his actions "sickening."
Dennis Smith, 89, lost £250,000 ($328,800) to Raja. A second victim, 50-year-old Kevin Cresswell, "invested" £300,000 ($394,500).
"The way Raja is living now makes you sick. I think that the police should be pursuing him to wipe the smile off of his face," 89-year-old Smith told The Telegraph.
Cresswell, on the other hand, is completely baffled as to how Raja is not yet in prison. In his opinion, British authorities should be "banging down doors" to bring him to justice.
While living in Dubai, Raja opened up a business consultancy that is "dedicated to serving both SMEs and fortune 500 firms" and called it Sami Raja Consultancy. The company is meant to help investors expand their businesses in the UAE and UK.
According to The Telegraph, Raja can also be linked to the website of an investment company called the Foras Group. In it, his life story can be found under the blog heading "the untold story of a visionary."
However, the last press release published by any media outlet on Sami Raja Consultancy dates back to April 2019. In fact, all three websites designated to this company are inactive, while the CEO's social media pages no longer exist.