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Strangers In The Night

Jul 31, 2010 3:00:01 PM - thesundayleader.lk

By Ranee Mohamed

Who are they?

The warning comes from a 58 year old woman,  Andrea ­— an educated divorcee who says that she was flattered by the attention of a young man during an outing in the night. Living alone, with a dog for company, some fish and a three legged tortoise, Andrea was already missing the affection of her daughter who was studying overseas.

It seemed like the three foreign men had sensed her loneliness and one man in particular was persuasive and ardent.  “There were three young men and it was later that I discovered that they preyed on the loneliness of women in and around Colombo. “I had not been in a relationship for 18 years and it was 18 years after that I was smitten by the great interest shown in me by this handsome young man,” said Andrea.

“About a month after our love affair began, he asked me for Rs. 20,000 which I gave him. “Then since I had a vaginal tear caused by him and did not have the money to pay for the medical bills,  he refunded Rs. 15,000 but kept 5,000. Then he took Rs. 6,000 from my bag which I faced him with and he admitted it, thus he took Rs. 11,000 in total, with promises to pay it back. He then became obsessed with me,” said Andrea.

“One day, about a week ago, a girl at the pub told me that the name he used, Goozef Al Samaraee was not his real name and that he was actually something else (name withheld). I then sent him a message asking him what his real name was, and if he could not show me his passport, I would not let him into my house. He became very violent and has been calling me incessantly from July 28 and telling me that he would kill me if I so much as went with another man and pretending to be jealous of me. He is sending me a whole heap of filthy phone calls because I terminated the relationship while asking him for my money back on Friday July 23,  2010,” she said.

Andrea also learnt that this so called Goozef was engaged in the recruitment of housemaids to the Arab world via a recruitment agency in Maradana. “The business they trade in such as housekeeping is strictly for sex and the word ‘housemaid’ is a pseudonym for paid prostitute. The man I had a relationship with has been cheated  (and I do not know whether this is false or true and a likely reason for his being caught out is because he is new to the trade) several times over because the housemaids had allegedly been in Arabia and returned within the week which meant that he had to recruit them again,” said Andrea. Andrea  has also discovered that he had several other affairs going — one lady with whom she herself has begun a correspondence via Facebook in a bid to warn her.

“I am a 58 year old woman who teaches English at the University and it is very embarrassing that I have been caught by this man, who always said ‘this is my house’ when he came to my house, thereby indicating that he may have had aspirations to my property through ‘love’…”

“On being found out – that he was not the person he claimed to be and that his name was fictitious — and with his subsequent loss of face because he always insisted that he was Goozef, he turned nasty. I have proof in all the phone messages that he sent to me tonight, on my mobile number (number withheld) with the able help of his friend (name withheld) who says he is Iranian and speaks better English than these other two people,” she said.
“I know that this is an organised racket, a past time for these men. They, I later discovered, are in the habit of approaching old ladies in night clubs, seducing them and taking money off them, and then dumping them or visiting their homes and threatening them until they pay,” said Andrea. “This is highly unacceptable, because I am being harassed by a foreign national in my home land. I am told that this man is married, and has a wife and two children in Sri Lanka. But I do not know where he lives, where he works, where he operates from, or who he does this too. In Facebook, someone has made a profile using a picture of him stating that he is a prolific womaniser who takes advantage of women and takes money from them. Men 1 and 3 are more bona fide than 2 because they are in Facebook with their correct names” explained Andrea.
“Their photographs (seen above) were taken by me when they were at a pub about two months ago. The relationship turned sour with these three men,  for one of them introduced himself to me with a fictitious name — as Goozef Al Samaraee. I met them at the Rhythm & Blues Club on  May 6, 2010. He approached me for English lessons, then about a month later, asked me for Rs. 20,000 which I gave him,” she explained. Andrea says that she was enticed into a relationship with Goozef who pledged his ‘love’ for her.

“They begin by showing a dedicated interest in the object of their intentions, which is most often foul. How they approach you is by a direct hit — ‘I would like to talk to you’, ‘I find you very interesting’, but they do not make any direct reference to how beautiful you are unless they see that need in you too, and address it accordingly. They then could ask you questions about yourself and if you mention husband, you are dropped like a hot potato, but if you mention husband overseas, you are fair game. They could come to your house and woo you and if you do not object, seduce you, or they could rape you, but they do it with such finesse that you do not even realise you have been raped, not physically, but mentally, your privacy invaded and your heart lost along with it,” explained a heartbroken Andrea.
Andrea went on to say that being a woman one cannot even complain to the police and to the authorities. “Because you are a woman and our society is such that they hardly believe in you and would make you out to be a slut, or a woman of weak intelligence. Add to that, you are a divorcee, and/or a widower and/or a single woman and you have a neighbour who has already labeled you as a slut because you are contesting a court action against an illegal building, and you haven’t a leg to stand on, because the police do not call because they have been called too often about the building,” she said.

“The sums demanded are never small, at the most Rs. 20,000 which you would not bother about if he dumps you because you do not want to let on that you have been hoodwinked, riddled and taken for a ride by a handsome face and your own weakness and infatuation. They do not use their correct names and they never tell you where they are from, and you would not bother to ask who they are and why they are approaching you because you are thrilled to bits that someone handsome and younger than yourself has paid some attention to you, which you may have been missing because your channel for affection has left to study overseas and you have nobody on whom to ply your love and attention, in hugs and kisses who will return the affection to you,” analysed Andrea.
“Have you ever asked a man who approached you for his identity card, when he is so fascinating and so entertaining and so interesting and so besotted with you that he is around you like a fly around a honey pot and you are smitten, lust-lorn and have been forgotten because of social circumstances? These men have vehicles which are unmarked, i.e. they use motor cycles which are not even registered because the vehicle does not require it. So you cannot report the person to the police because they are ghosts who have visited you and you have no proof of either the payment made or the person who called you,” explained Anna.
“ These people could be married, and have an Arabic wife in Sri Lanka with their children as well, but you will never get the place where they live and it could be anything to suit your thoughts, convince you of their bona fides which are totally false and you bed them because you think that there can be some redress in being able to find them subconsciously because foreigners are traceable. These people are not.”

“I have sent letters explaining my experience with these men and seeking to track down their origin to several embassies. There is no doubt that these three individuals who are Arabs and/or other foreign nationals,  prey on ‘elder’ women (and I must admit I fall into that category), and then demand money for services rendered through various pathetic excuses or pretense of having hardship in their respective businesses or a straight demand for money for sex because their lady acquaintance may have something to hide. They operate in night clubs (Rhythm & Blues) and pubs. Andrea says that God saved her from a murkier end. You think he is hot and bothered and only by you. I was the lucky one; I guess my dedicated 18 years of prayer saved me though it did not save me from the man, unless it was a learning and teaching exercise on my own vulnerability and singleness.”
“My timely visit to the hospital when I was bleeding because of this man, and again my friend as told below who understood the man’s psyche and helped get his real identity. I had an astrological prediction that the man who was visiting me under my birth sign is an egocentric individual who cares nothing for me and he was not even using his own name. So I sent him a message on his mobile asking him ‘what is your real name?’ to which he had no reply,” alleged Anna.

“ He then came over on his unmarked motor cycle to reassure me that that was his name; however, I had already sent him another message that I would not let him in unless he brought along his passport and since he had not; the conversation was carried out on the front door step. Then one of my friends twigged in that this man was a thorough crook because she instinctively did not like him. So she got a very beautiful girl to invite him through Facebook and he promptly accepted. These men never divulge any of these details otherwise. From there I realised that the man had three identities and furthermore, several email addresses, one of which I created myself for him at his request.
“However, by his succumbing to the invite, all the details of his family became evident and he was from Iraq when he told me he was from Jordan. I am hoping that since he does not understand English, he will not be able to read this article, but his friends could do so, therefore this method of operation could cease and you will be left in a total lurch. But a crook can be caught out, only if he has some weaknesses and failings, i.e. he wants to convince you of his integrity so he has some contacts and email addresses. Most of them do not. He also may be a person who likes adulation, so you may be able to get some details on him by catering to his pride and sucking up to him to do so.”
“These gay lotharios always have an Achilles heel, the only problem is to find it. I am advising ladies to beware of such individuals because you can fall prey to these people who cater to your failings and failings they are — loneliness, lack of affection, companionship, innate frustration with your situation (you may just have been divorced),” cautioned Andrea.
The wrong attitudes of the friends; “my you are so lucky at your age to get such a handsome man in your life”, “go for it”, “take it from me at this age whatever, you will hardly have any man looking at you”, ”at your age you cannot expect love”, “you can be opened up to new experiences”,  “it may be an interesting experience why don’t you try it”,  had all contributed to the situation in Andrea’s life.

Says Andrea: “It could be because your friends are themselves lacking any interest in their lives so you provide a source of entertainment to them in your unusual love life or in the intrigue, or in the investigation of what could happen to them in similar circumstances, or a factor of lasciviousness, one never knows.”