Sweden sending mystery man home to Berlin after memory-loss hoax
29 Oct 2009, 08:00
Published: 29 Oct 2009 08:00 GMT+01:00
The man has been identified as Mahmoud Houssein, a 65-year-old man who is married and lives in the German capital, according to TV3’s Efterlyst (‘Wanted’) television programme, which first publicized the man’s case on October 14th.
“Who am I? Please, has anyone seen me before?” he pleaded on the show in accented English, claiming to have no idea where he was from or how he ended up in Sweden.
Swedish police have been working feverishly for the last two weeks, investigating dozens of tips from the public in an effort to determine the man’s identity.
In the end, however it was Houssein who revealed his identity when he visited his personal website on a public computer located in a Malmö municipal office building.
City employees recognized Houssein from his appearance on television and took note when he visited a website featuring a picture of a man who looked exactly like him.
The municipal employees then reported the incident to police.
During questioning by police, Houssein claimed he ended up at the site by chance after having browsed sites featuring missing persons in Germany.
But police doubt the man’s explanation, suspecting instead that Houssein was lying about his supposed memory loss.
“As it looks today, it seems to be made up,” Malmö police investigator Anders Lindskog told Efterlyst.
Houssein, who has no criminal record in Germany and who had not been reported as missing, will now be sent back to his home country.
However, the questions of how and why he came to Sweden, and why he may have concocted the story about having lost his memory, remain unanswered.