Tuesday, May 13, 2014

British millionaire 'fathered seven children with models he kept in Costa del Sol harem against their will'

A British millionaire accused of fathering seven children with aspiring models he kept against their will in a Costa del Sol harem has been arrested by Spanish police.

Shoja Shojai, 56, allegedly met many of the woman in London, telling them he was an oil tycoon who was friends with Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin.

Police were called to his luxury Arabian-style palace in Marbella after one of the women reportedly filed a domestic violence claim against him.

Now nine of the women living at the rented mansion have accused him of luring them to Spain under false pretences - subjecting them to emotional abuse and threats of physical violence in order to keep them there.

The women, who knew Shojai as 'Sasha', had originally come from across Europe and Asia, including Russia, Germany, Mongolia and Kazakhstan, before meeting him while studying at a London fashion school.

Several were said to have told police they came to Spain on the promise he would help them gain a foot in the door of the fashion industry.

Once they arrived they were put up in a ten-bed mansion on the property in the hills above Marbella called Casa Saf and took turns to sleep with him.

Iranian-born Shojai, whose British passport was issued in January 2008, lived in an adjoining house called Casa Nabil.

The women have told police they were allowed out of the mansion at all times - but only with on of Shojai's drivers and on the condition that they told him where they were going and what time they were returning.

They claim he threatened reprisals against their children and families if they disobeyed him.

The wealthier women, said to come from moneyed backgrounds, say they were made to pay the £6,500-a-month rent on the property.

Spanish newspapers have reported that police found date rape drug Rohypnol during a search of the property after the women complained of suffering headaches and being made to take drugs including anti-depressants.

Officers also reportedly found letters addressed to Shojai inviting him to give House of Commons lectures.

Shojai has been released on bail while a court in Marbella continues to investigate the claims before deciding whether to charge him.

The women and their children, aged nine months to seven years old, have been taken to nearby refuges.

Spanish detectives are now expected to ask police in Britain to make inquiries on their behalf about Shojai and his alleged victims, and an investigating judge has ordered the women to undertake drugs tests.

A spokesman from the Metropolitan Police in London said Spanish authorities were yet to make contact regarding Shojai.

Psychologists will also interview them and file a report to the judge with their conclusions on the womens’ state of minds.

Shojai, believed to have lived at another mansion in nearby Estepona before moving to Marbella, has denied all the accusations against him.

He claims the women worked for his companies, consented to sex with him, and fell pregnant because they failed to take precautions. He also denied mistreating them emotionally or physically during a police interview.

The entrepreneur, who is prevented by a restraining order from approaching the women while the allegations are investigated, has also asked police to investigate the alleged theft of millions of pounds of jewellery, works of art and Persian rugs during the two days he spent in police cells.

Lawyers representing the women have rejected his claims they may be involved.

Shojai was only married to one of the 10 women he lived with, but it unknown if the 33-year-old Danish woman is among his nine accusers.

Shojai is understood to have returned alone to his rented ochre-coloured mansion, which is partially hidden behind high walls and palm trees and has two stone lions outside one of its two entrances.

He has not made any public comment on the claims.

A worker at the property told respected local newspaper Diario Sur he did not believe the women were being held against their will.

He said: 'They left in the mornings in their cars without any problems to take their children to school.

'I can only say what I saw during the day though. I’ve no idea what happened at night.'

A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: 'The women were very young and very pretty and were usually impeccably dressed in designer clothes.

'They were always accompanied by workers when they left the house in 4x4s that looked like chaffeurs who doubled up as bodyguards.

'They always kept themselves to themselves and didn’t seem to want much to do with the neighbours but I never suspected they might be kept there against their will.

'Apart from one or two, they didn’t look unhappy when I saw them.

“I rarely saw the man the police arrested but he was just as discreet.'

Another added: 'There were always a lot of pretty women coming and going from the house but I just thought there were several different families living inside the house. I didn’t know the children all belonged to one father.'

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