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Last Updated: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
Doctor wins Nigerian fraud case
A Harley Street psychiatrist who paid 188,000 to a couple who promised him $2m from an African bank account has won his fraud case at the High Court.

Dr Omar Ahmed paid the two GPs, hoping to finance an Aids research project.

The doctor was told the money would release millions of pounds the couple held in Nigeria, the court heard.

Dr Nitai Addy and his wife Dr Naveen Karawal, of Nelson Road, Gillingham, Kent, were ordered to pay back the money plus interest and 650,000 costs.

If a Harley Street doctor can be taken in, then other vulnerable people could also be in danger
Prakash Patel, solicitor

Dr Ahmed remortgaged his house in Wigmore, Gillingham, and used savings to find the cash, the court was told.

Mr Justice Mackay said when it came to money, Dr Ahmed - who claimed he was "brainwashed" - was "naive".

"Dr Addy induced him to put money into a Nigerian bank account, which I am satisfied was one over which Dr Addy had control and to which he was beneficially entitled, from which it was destined never to return," the judge said.

'Diabolical charm'

Dr Ahmed, who was born in Palestine and lived in Iraq before moving to England in 1975, had treated Dr Karawal for stress in 1999, when he became friendly with the couple.

During the four-day trial, Dr Addy's legal team claimed it was he who had been the victim of fraud on the part of Dr Ahmed.

But the judge said the couple showed Dr Ahmed hundreds of documents to carry out the fraud and took him on a sham trip to Hampstead - the court heard evidence from Dr Ahmed's daughter, Nada, who described Dr Addy as "diabolically charming".

Outside the court, Dr Ahmed's solicitor Prakash Patel said: "If a Harley Street doctor can be taken in, then other vulnerable people could also be in danger. This was a systematic fraud."

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