'Apartment firm had no record of my cash'
Published 18/10/2010 | 05:00
WHEN Brian Kelly saw an advertisement in 2006 for the proposed Asilah Marina Golf apartment complex in Tangiers, he thought he had found his perfect holiday home in the sun.
The Dubliner, in his late 30s, had spent two years living in Morocco and fell in love with the scenery at the site where the apartments were due to be built.
A graduate of Arabic and Middle Eastern studies, he married a Moroccan woman and wanted a place for them to stay in her home country.
He paid a visit to the Rathfarnham office of Karl Morris's Simple Overseas Properties (SOP) and placed a €33,000 deposit -- his life savings -- on a penthouse apartment.
A contract was issued by SOP and they told him his apartment would be finished within two years but he heard no more.
By April 2009, SOP had closed its office and investors were unable to contact Mr Morris.
"I eventually managed to speak to someone in Simple and they assured me he had passed on my deposit to Asilah Invest, the company building the apartments," said Mr Kelly.
"But when I went to Asilah Invest's head office in Tangiers they had no record of me." Mr Kelly is now one of 39 former SOP clients suing Mr Morris in the High Court for the return of deposits.
"A lot of people have been swindled.
"I am amazed that the whole thing has not been investigated by the gardai," he said.