Fraudster steals 26 young African footballers’ money in Istanbul

A fraudster has stolen money from 26 young men from North Africa after convincing them he could help them play in the Turkish football league, Turkey’s Daily Sabah reported on Wednesday.

The young men were lured to Istanbul by an Iraqi man who said he would arrange for them to play in a trial tournament if they handed over 1,500 euros each and signed documents.

But once the men arrived in Istanbul, he brought them to a house in Esenyurt district and then disappeared with their money, the Daily Sabah said.

The suspect is believed to have used the same method to defraud other people.

"Players from Africa always pursue a career abroad and Turkey was a gateway to hope for us,” said Yassin Ousama, one of the victims. “We sent money to this man and signed some documents for him when we came here. He brought us to a house in Istanbul and we did not hear from him since. We want the authorities to help us.”