Family and friends of South African man stuck in UAE demanding return

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Sello Tsolo, a former project manager in the Free State municipality of Setsoto, has been in the United Arab Emirates for nine years.

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Photo: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG — The family and friends of a South African man currently stuck in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are expected to present a petition to the Gulf nation’s embassy in Pretoria on Friday.

Sello Tsolo, a former project manager in the Free State municipality of Setsoto, has been in the United Arab Emirates for nine years.

He had traveled to the United Arab Emirates to sign shares in a company which, unbeknownst to him, was owned by an alleged Indian international scammer.

Instead, he was tricked into signing a R2 million IOU in a document written in Arabic.

Before moving to the United Arab Emirates in 2013, Tsolo managed the Setsoto integrated dairy project on behalf of the local municipality.

The project needed more than 600 million rand to get started and a suspected international scammer offered to cover the cost in return for a majority stake.

The alleged scammer then offered Tsolo shares in his company and invited him to the UAE to sign the deal.

Tsolo later discovered that he had in fact signed an IOU and was jailed for three years after failing to pay the money.

Despite his sentence, Tsolo was prevented from leaving the United Arab Emirates, with authorities saying he still had to settle his debt.

His family and friends say it is unfair and are demanding his return to South Africa.

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