Fasieg Adams, a disgraced imam at the centre of several hajj and umrah scandals, did not appear in court on Monday, following his arrest on fraud charges over the weekend. Adams did not make it the Wynberg Magistrates court due to allegedly being sick, resulting in the case being postponed. Adams was arrested at the Cell C store in Cavendish Square for having taken out fraudulent cellphone contracts to an estimated value of R50 000. It’s believed these phones were then sold with the purpose of giving refunds to the travellers he owes money to.
SAPS Captain FC Van Wyk confirmed that a 56-year-old man was arrested on Friday morning on a charge of fraud. The fraud charges are however, not related to his hajj and umrah dealings.
While Cell C declined to provide detailed comment on the incident, it issued a brief statement.
“Cell C is aware of an incident which occurred at one of our franchise stores where suspicious documentation relating to potential fraud was provided to the consultant, leading to security and SAPS being alerted. Cell C is working with the relevant authorities on the matter.”
The legal representative to several of Adams alleged Hajj and Umrah victims, TNK Attorneys’ Fazloodien Abrahams said the cases will be trialled separately as they are two different incidents, but it may affect the sentencing.
“Essentially what happens, if he is found guilty because it is the same crime it would affect the amount of sentencing [which would] effectively run concurrently from the Commercial Crimes Court in Bellville.”
Adams also owes scores of senior mu’tamireen refunds after their December 2019 umrah trip did not materialise. While some have been paid a portion of money, there is still a substantial amount outstanding.
Victims that have been allegedly bamboozled by Adams found hope in the arrest and view it as an opening to the path of justice.
“Seeing that he has committed another crime, it basically confirms that he most likely had no intention of paying them and no remorse,” said Abrahams.
A concern for the disgruntled Hujaaj and Mu’tamireen who have received some monetary compensation from Adams is that those are the profits of other crimes.
“These people want to utilize that money to go for Umrah, so how are they going to take money that was now proceeds of a crime,” said Abrahams.
Subsequently, Abrahams said that the arrest of Adams has led their case in the right direction. It has granted their investigation the upper hand.
“I will finalize statements and discuss with the victims tomorrow we will lodge complaints by the earliest tomorrow, or Wednesday for the latest.”
Finally, with umrah season around the corner, Abrahams warned prospective Mu’tamireen to be wary when choosing a travel operator and to ensure they are a ‘credible entity’. Furthermore, he urged travellers to take responsibility upon themselves and not trust operators prematurely.
The next court date for Adams is set for the 12th February.