Morocco’s ‘$65-million’ real-estate swindle
Adverts on state television had promised dream homes at three for the price of two, while brochures boasted of ornately carved wood finishings and copious marble.
But it was all a fantasy — more than 600 million dirhams (about 57 million euros, $65 million) allegedly disappeared, leaving more than 1,000 buyers out-of-pocket, according to one of the lawyers representing them.
In a country where corruption is endemic, the unprecedented scale of the alleged fraud has generated political waves. Called upon by deputies to address the issue in parliament, Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani said the government was absolved of any blame, provoking indignation among defrauded investors who have appealed to King Mohammed VI.
The man accused of being at the forefront of the scheme has been charged and is in detention awaiting trial.