Sunday, April 12, 2015
Multiculturalist now "most wanted"
A British-born businessman has been placed on the FBI's Most Wanted list over claims he conducted a multi-million pound luxury car scam.
Afzal Khan is accused of conning a string of customers and financial firms at a motor dealership he ran in the US.
Federal agents hunting the 32-year-old, originally from Edinburgh, fear he may have fled the country and have offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Flamboyant Khan, known to his clients as 'Bobby', opened the Emporio Motor Group in New Jersey in 2013 and maintained a high profile. He appeared on US reality series The Real Housewives Of New Jersey and counted members of the show's cast among his clients.
He has now been accused of a massive fraud involving super cars including Lamborghinis, Bentleys and Rolls Royces.
He is accused of obtaining loans from a bank for cars that he never delivered, but for which the purchaser was still responsible.
He also obtained loans for cars that were delivered, but for which neither he nor Emporio had title documents. As a result, the purchasers of these cars were liable for the loan, but could not register the vehicles.
Khan also offered to sell cars for customers, and then neither returned the cars nor provided any money from car sales.
One financial institution is said to have lost $1.6million from its dealings with Khan and 75 customers have come forward to make complaints against him.
If convicted, he could face a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a multi-million dollar fine.
Khan was born in Edinburgh to Pakistani parents and moved to America more than 20 years ago. Police and the FBI attempted to arrest him at his New Jersey home at the end of October but could not locate him.
He has now been placed on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted 'white collar criminals' list.
In an interview he gave when he opened his car dealership in 2013, Khan boasted that he had been selling luxury cars since he was 18
He said: 'There's a waiting list for any car like this, because you can't find it, but the number of millionaires and billionaires grows every day. 'Everybody wants the next toy. This is a boutique dealership. It's like walking into a Gucci or a Fendi store.'
The FBI wanted poster for Khan says he has ties to the United Arab Emirates, Canada, the UK and Pakistan, and may be found in those countries. He is described as 5 feet 10 inches and 180 pounds, with a scar on his right arm.
Last week, Khan's brother Anil Iqbal was arrested by police in New Jersey investigating the alleged scam.
Iqbal, 36, who was an employee at the dealership, has been charged with conspiracy to commit theft, theft by extortion, theft by deception and fencing.
An FBI spokesman said: 'Afzal Khan is wanted for allegedly defrauding customers and financial institutions while he was the owner of Emporio Motor Group, a car dealership in Ramsey, New Jersey.
'From approximately December 2013 to September 2014, Khan allegedly obtained loans for vehicles that were never delivered, obtained loans for vehicles without proper title, and issued insufficient funds checks.
'Khan also allegedly offered to sell vehicles on consignment and then neither returned the vehicles nor provided any funds for the vehicle sales.
'A federal arrest warrant was issued for Khan on October 21, 2014, by the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, after he was charged with wire fraud.
'The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Afzal Khan.'
Snatched from her loving family and handed to strangers: Sophia was an adored baby with a devoted mother and besotted grandparents. Then social workers took an extraordinary decision
There are few people more evil than British social workers. They revel in using their powers to hurt people
The small pink bedroom remains pristine, untouched. The cot, its coverlet neat and pressed, stands empty. There are soft toys, a candy-coloured pedal car, a pushchair and a pretty little Moses basket.
Photos of a toddler — laughing, held aloft on her grandfather’s shoulders — give proof to a child’s existence, yet nothing in the room shows signs of use or life.
Indeed, the little girl — we’ll call her Sophia — for whom the bedroom was intended, has never slept in it. Since she was born 22 months ago, there has been no joyous welcome to the four-bedroom house on the South Coast in which her family live.
Instead, just two days after her birth, Sophia was wrenched from her family, and the shock was so profound, so terrible, that they are still reeling.
The law prevents us from using Sophia’s real name, because any day now the toddler will be forcibly adopted against her family’s wishes. She will, thereafter, become the child of strangers, who will raise her, without contact from her blood relatives, until she is an adult.
Yet Sophia already had a family who loved her; who were overjoyed by the prospect of caring for her. So much so that her 20-year-old mother, Samantha, had decided to live at her parents’ home so her daughter would have their love and support as well as hers.
In fact it was Sophia’s grandparents, Jayne Harley, 50, a doctors’ receptionist, and her husband Neil, 44, who runs a scaffolding company, who decorated the room in readiness for their first grandchild.
But our Nanny State decreed they should not be permitted to bring up their own child. A social worker and two police officers arrived at the hospital where Sophia was born, two days after her delivery by emergency Caesarean, and prevented them taking her home.
Last month, this newspaper ran a series of stories about single mothers in the Sixties who were coerced into giving up their babies for adoption for the sole reason that they were unmarried.
Today, unbelievably, forced adoptions still occur. But the Harleys’ story is so jaw-dropping, so harrowing, it is almost impossible to believe it happened in modern Britain.
But it did, and Sophia’s family spent 18 months fighting through the courts for the right to raise her. It was a battle that took them to the Court of Appeal in London and cost them £60,000 — raised from loans and savings — in legal fees.
Their ordeal began when Samantha, who was then aged 19, announced that she was pregnant.
‘We weren’t happy,’ recalls Jayne. ‘Sammy was still at college, training to be a nail technician, and her boyfriend, who was in his mid-20s, wasn’t working. It wasn’t the sort of relationship we wanted for her. We felt she could do better.
‘But Sammy was intent on keeping the baby — she wouldn’t consider a termination — so we agreed we’d support her in every way we could.’
Jayne was concerned that Samantha, who had been a ‘challenging’ child and was diagnosed in her teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), would need help with parenting.
She and Neil, her husband of 14 years, resolved to step in: Samantha and the newborn should live at home with them, they all agreed.
Then Jayne discovered a disquieting fact about Samantha’s boyfriend John (not his real name). ‘We heard that he was on the Sex Offenders’ Register. My immediate thought was: “Oh God, please don’t let him be a rapist or paedophile.” ’
Court records, however, revealed that his crime was a sexual assault on a woman. ‘He had forced his hand up her skirt and kissed her against her will. It was a serious offence and it would be wrong to diminish it. But he wasn’t a paedophile or rapist,’ says Jayne.
Nonetheless, she was relieved when Samantha ended her relationship with John early on in the pregnancy. They remained friends, and Jayne accepted this as evidence that John intended to have a role in his child’s life, which seemed laudable.
Pending motherhood, moreover, gave Samantha a new sense of purpose. ‘She’d been defiant and disruptive, but she changed completely,’ recalls Jayne. ‘She improved herself, passed her driving test, bought a little car. She stayed in, devoted herself to studying and completed her college course.
‘And we started to look forward to the future. We got the baby’s room ready and bought everything she could possibly need.’
When, in June 2013, Samantha was admitted to hospital for the birth, Jayne was with her. She was surprised, however, when John, who was by then in a relationship with another young woman, arrived, too.
‘There was no plan for him to be there, but I didn’t regard him as a danger,’ recalls Jayne. ‘We’d even agreed that any future involvement between John and the baby would be arranged through social services.’
Jayne revelled in her new role as grandparent. ‘Holding Sophia was like holding my own daughter,’ she recalls. ‘There was the same level of love. Samantha had produced this beautiful baby girl. Seeing her for the first time was one of the happiest moments of my life.’
Then, two days after she was born in summer 2013, Jayne went to the hospital to collect her daughter and her baby to bring them home.
‘But there was delay after delay,’ she says. ‘Then a nurse said she needed to sign some paperwork. That was when the police and a social worker arrived and the nightmare started.’
What happened next was chilling.
‘They said Samantha had to go to a mother and baby unit outside the county, and that she had to leave immediately,’ says her mother.
‘My daughter was hysterical, screaming, “Mum, why are they doing this?” I couldn’t answer her. All I could think was that social services departments were there to keep families together, not tear them apart.
‘I was stunned. All I knew was that two of the most precious people in our lives were being taken away and I couldn’t prevent it. I had no idea what we’d done wrong. It was barbaric; inhumane.
‘I asked why on earth they were doing it. They said Sophia was at risk from her parents. I couldn’t understand it. I re-live that moment every day: my daughter’s terrified face, begging me to stop it from happening, screaming for help, and me being powerless to do a thing.’
Jayne has never been able to establish exactly why, but she believes Social Services were panicked by the arrival of John at the hospital, and Jayne and her daughter became scapegoats.
Before being packed off to a mother and baby unit outside London (where she would ultimately spend 16 weeks), Samantha had never spent a night away from home. She was bewildered and frightened.
‘They said that if she went, she could keep her baby,’ says Jayne. ‘We tried to be positive. We said: “They’ll teach you parenting skills.” ‘None of us knew it was to be an assessment — that Samantha would be under scrutiny 24/7.’
For the next four months, Jayne and Neil, who had raised Samantha and her sister from his wife’s first marriage since they were five and six respectively, made the 250-mile round-trip to the unit every Sunday. It was the only day they were permitted to visit.
They were cheered by Samantha’s progress. ‘We could see how well she was parenting Sophia, and the bond that was developing between them,’ recalls Jayne. ‘Sophia was content. She was a smiley, happy baby.’
Despite this, greater trauma was in store. In October, when Samantha’s placement ended, she was told it had actually been an assessment — and that she had failed.
‘They said her parenting skills were not in doubt,’ says Jayne. ‘The problem was that she — like us, apparently — did not recognise her child could be exposed to “future emotional harm”.’
Sophia was wrenched peremptorily from the family who loved her and entrusted to the care of her prospective adoptive parents. The dreadful irony was lost on social workers.
Jayne says: ‘They kept saying Sophia was at risk of emotional harm from us, yet Social Services were the abusers. You cannot commit a more inhumane act than to prise a baby from the arms of the family that loves her and place her with strangers.’
Jayne and Neil, however, were not prepared to give up without a fight. In January 2014, they applied for a Special Guardianship Order.
Their application, through the courts, was to prove both long and costly — and ultimately futile. They are hard-working people but they did not have the financial resources to fund an expensive legal battle. Like all grandparents, they were not entitled to legal aid.
They raised £30,000 through a loan, borrowed £20,000 from their own parents and consumed their £10,000 nest egg on their fight.
Two GPs from the surgery where Jayne worked provided references for her, as did a young woman Jayne had informally fostered — at the request of the very Social Services department that now considered her a risk to her own grandchild — when she was a troubled adolescent. Yet still their application failed.
‘When I stood in the witness box, they treated me like a criminal,’ says Jayne. ‘I was traumatised. We felt helpless. It was as if they were trying to annihilate us.’
They employed a barrister, who said they had a strong case for appeal, so their quest reached the Court of Appeal in London.
That, too, failed. The decision left their solicitor, Michael Stocken, dumbfounded.
‘It seems as though the Court of Appeal bent over backwards to endorse the first court’s decision,’ he says. ‘But there’s no doubt that it is better for a child’s welfare to be with a loving kinship carer.
‘If grandparents with the Harleys’ background and commitment, and with all they had to offer their grandchild, lose a case like this, what hope is there for anyone else?
‘It has cost them a tremendous amount, and they were prepared to move heaven and earth to provide their grandchild with a loving home. They’re kind and genuine people. I cannot imagine the distress it has caused them all. They’ve had a very raw deal.’
This is scant solace for Jayne and Neil. All the while they pursued their case through the courts, they and Samantha were permitted to see Sophia just once a week at a supervised Family Contact Centre.
‘It was bittersweet,’ says Jayne. ‘We watched our granddaughter grow into a funny, feisty little character. She loved rough and tumble play with Neil. She called him DadDad, and I was Nana. Neil used to carry her on his shoulders and she would lay her little face against his.
‘She’s affectionate and loving, and we adore her. The pain of watching her tearful little face when we said goodbye each time, hearing her scream “Mummy”, and “Nana”, almost outweighed the pleasure of seeing her.’
Finally, their last line of appeal exhausted, they had to say a last and permanent goodbye to the child they all cherished; the little girl they loved so much that, as Jayne says: ‘We would have given our lives for her in a heartbeat.’
That final parting this January was unimaginably sad — not just for Jayne, Neil and Samantha but also for Sophia, now 22 months, who had formed a strong bond of love with them.
‘Shine like the little star you are. We will always love you,’ Jayne wrote in a farewell letter to her granddaughter. From Samantha there were presents of jewellery. ‘One day we will be one,’ she wrote, in hope, to her daughter. They’ve named a star after her.
‘When we went for the last time, I’m sure Sophia sensed it was a final goodbye,’ says Jayne, through tears. ‘She grabbed Samantha’s car keys. We had to prise her little hands out of ours.
‘All we could do was tell her how much we loved her; how although we weren’t with her, we’d be there always, waiting for her.
‘We don’t know what sort of turmoil her little mind is going through. Now, all we can do is pray for her, and wait until she is 18; until she’s old enough to come back to us. That’s all I live for now.
‘And until that day, everything will be left as it is. Her room will still be there, unchanged. We won’t part with a single thing. It will stay, with the memory box containing the photos of her first scan, the balloons we bought on the day she was born, her first knitted hat and her first tiny shoes.
‘She will know not a day passed when we did not think of her; that we loved her with all our hearts.’
Silence and violence in Leftist protest world
By Miranda Devine, writing from Australia
WHEN leftist authoritarians try to stop people from expressing views they don’t like,they don’t like, all they do is create publicity and even sympathy for causes they oppose.
Whether they violently disrupt protests against sharia law or force the closure of a pizza shop whose Christian owners don’t want to cater for a hypothetical gay wedding, the morally righteous are their own worst enemy.
If you watched the foul-mouthed violence and flag-burning of the so-called anti-racists who disrupted peaceful rallies of a hitherto obscure group of protesters named Reclaim Australia, you would automatically have sided with the victims of their abuse.
You may not agree with the Reclaim Australia crowd that Australia has a problem with minorities who “are trying to change Australia’s cultural identity.” You may not agree that halal certification of food in Australia should be banned, that sharia law should be illegal, and the burqa forbidden. You may not agree that schools should teach “pride in the Australian flag and anthem”. You may not agree with mandatory 10-year jail terms and deportation for anyone who carries out female genital mutilation. You may be optimistic, as I am, that Australia will absorb Muslim migrants just as well as it has absorbed previous groups and that Australia will be stronger for its hybrid vigour.
But that doesn’t mean that those who think differently shouldn’t air their views without being punched, kicked, spat on, showered with police horse dung, abused and intimidated into going home.
That’s what happened on Saturday when rallies around the country planned by Reclaim Australia to protest Islamic extremism were assailed by mobs of Socialist Party activists, unionists, anarchists, Abbott-haters and assorted other disgruntles.
These tolerance police claimed to be acting virtuously as enemies of racism but in reality they are part of a well-organised campaign of civil disruption whose ultimate goal is to destroy the capitalist system.
In Sydney, police did a good job of keeping most of the so-called anti-racists apart from the 200 or so Reclaim Australia supporters in the rain at Martin Place. But in Melbourne’s Federation Square the clashes between the two groups were so vicious and aggressive, they made headlines around the world.
Footage shows both sides pushing and shoving, but it was the so-called anti-racists, who initiated the violence.
They linked arms in Melbourne to form a barrier to stop people, including several speakers, from joining the Reclaim rally. They didn’t want to pose a counter view, but to stop the rally.
“We’re not interested in holding our rally somewhere else … this is dangerous to allow hate speech to occur on the streets of Melbourne,” Socialist Party candidate and union organiser Mel Gregson told reporters. “The streets of Melbourne are not the place for anti-Muslim ideas.”
What is she so afraid of? A bad idea expressed out loud is a lot better than a bad idea suppressed and forced underground where it festers and gains power.
Exposed to criticism, ideas can be held up to ridicule, countered with better ideas. If they are bad ideas, the good sense of the Australian people will reject them. That’s the whole point of free speech.
Max, who describes himself as an “average middle aged bloke” went to the Reclaim rally in Melbourne with his three-year-old in a pram, because he wanted to hear what the speakers had to say about Islam. His entrance to Federation Square was blocked by “vile youths spitting and abusing passersby and those wishing to attend”.
Pushed and shoved, and fearing for his child’s safety, he never made it to the rally, and vented his spleen online instead. “It was up to me to make my own opinion of what was to be said.”
And that is the whole point. All the pseudo anti-racists achieved was to put Reclaim Australia on the map in its very first outing. Now the name is known around the world.
Pauline Hanson, who spoke at the Brisbane rally, made her name the same way. Her fringe One Nation party gained enormous kudos and public awareness in the 1990s when violent socialist protesters attacked its supporters, bussing in rent — a hooligans to bash elderly people. Hanson became a martyr and a political force overnight. Every violent protest drew new recruits to One Nation. Disgusted by the behaviour of her opponents, the silent majority chose her side, even if they didn’t agree with her views.
Similarly, when anti-homophobia zealots tried to shut down a pizza shop in small town Indiana after its Christian owners told a reporter they would not cater for a hypothetical gay wedding, the backlash was immediate. The public donated $US842,000 in 48 hours to Memories Pizza owners Crystal and Kevin O’Connor, who now say God rewarded them for their stance.
This is what happens when the totalitarian left tries to impose its will in a democracy. It will never win because reasonable people recoil from such closed-minded bigotry.
UK: Photography censorship even at the races
But from what got through the net you can see why. Acres of obese female flesh are not attractive. I don't have a strong enough stomach to reproduce any of it but it is there at the source. A rare demure lady who was there below
It was billed as the year that Aintree would finally become fashionable, following last month's announcement that a strict new dress code emphasising 'Chanel-style looks' had been introduced.
Racecourse bosses will be hoping that all faux pas will be averted with the help of the dress code, which was issued in a bid to repair the race meeting's boozy image and encourage more racing fans to attend on Ladies Day.
They have also issued instructions to media organisations that say any photographer caught taking photos of badly dressed or drunken racegoers will have their pass taken away.
'We want to overwhelm the negativity, to push the positivity to the front,' said John Baker, regional director of the Jockey Club North West which runs the racecourse.
'Our event is full of character, it's fun, and that's generated by the personality of the Liverpool people. We have to absolutely protect that because it's at the core of what we are, and we have a responsibility to our customers to project the correct image.
'We have talked about trying to monitor those photographers, so if we see any element clearly looking for a negative shot and we can identify that, we will take their accreditation off them and we'll kick them off the site. That's not easily manageable, but that's what we'll endeavour to do.'
But not everyone managed to pull off the high fashion ensembles recommended by the style guide and, instead, appeared bent on proving that mismatched hair extensions and acres of cleavage are still in vogue.
Along with low-cut dresses, the micro-skirts and platform shoes that have become a Grand National staple in recent years were very much on show as were some unflatteringly tight get-ups.
Another lady chose to wear a dress that came dangerously close to bridal and compounded it by finishing the look with silver wedding-style shoes and diamanté accessories.
More still appeared intent on getting stuck into the booze as early as possible, with a number of ladies deploying the silver champagne funnels that were first seen last month at Cheltenham.
But it wasn't all bad news for racing bosses: some beautifully dressed ladies had clearly taken the new style code to heart and looked wonderful in on-trend midi skirts, delicate cocktail hats and even, in one case, a pair of flat pumps.
Hats proved particularly popular, with many of the ladies choosing pretty fascinators and bold broad-brimmed titfers enlivened with colourful plumes of feathers - a trend also on display at last month's Cheltenham Festival.
Another particularly well-dressed lady was Dani Lawrence, girlfriend of Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones, who looked wonderful in a delicate cream lace dress.
But not everyone was pleased, in particular bookmakers Coral who had been attempting to lure in the punters by offering odds on fashion faux pas. Among the most popular so far are breasts falling out of dresses, exposed bottoms and split frocks - all of which have been priced at very low odds of 2/1 by the bookmaker.
Other fashion mishaps thought likely to occur by Coral include skirts being blown up at 3/1, hats being blown away at 6/1 and hair extensions falling out at 8/1.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.