In the largest case of its kind, the trial has begun in the east Midlands city of Leicester of an Indian citizen, who defrauded many vulnerable people of hundreds of thousands of pounds by claiming to cure illnesses, bring lottery millions, luck and love.
Mohammaed Ashrafi, 50, who is known to have operated in Leicester and London, also called himself Kamalji, while promising people winning lottery tickets worth millions of pounds. He claimed to be a follower of Sai Baba, the widely-followed trial was told.
The trial, which began last week, is expected to continue for four weeks. The Asian Rationalist Society of Britain told HT on Tuesday that it was following the case closely, since many vulnerable people from the Indian and Asian communities fell victim to guiles of such ‘babas’ in Britain.
Ashrafi denies 14 counts of fraud, involving 18 alleged victims, by falsely claiming that in return for payments for materials required for prayer, they would win the lottery between January and April 2014. He also denies blackmailing a couple out of 50,000 pounds.