An Edinburgh businessman who was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list has been captured after more than five years on the run.
Afzal Khan was wanted by authorities in the US over an alleged £1.3 million luxury car scam.
He is accused of conning a string of customers and financial firms at a motor dealership he ran in New Jersey and could face up to 100 years in prison if convicted.
The FBI announced that the 37-year-old, originally from Edinburgh, was arrested in the United Arab Emirates and flown back to the US on Monday.
Special Agent in Charge Gregory W Ehrie, of the FBI’s Newark field office, said: “Mr Khan came to the sobering reality that he could not outrun the FBI.
“People who flee to other countries to avoid prosecution only delay the inevitable and live every day with the knowledge that we are still in pursuit. Mr Khan obviously reached the conclusion that it wasn’t worth it.
“The Newark field office would like to thank the dedicated members of law enforcement whose hard work and determination forced the hand of this fugitive and will now bring him to justice.”
Khan is now being held in Bergen County Jail in New Jersey while he awaits trial.
The flamboyant businessman, 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 been accused of a massive fraud involving super cars including Lamborghinis, Porsches and Rolls Royces.
Prosecutors say he obtained loans from a bank for cars that he never delivered, but for which the purchaser was still responsible.
He is also said to have 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 is also alleged to have offered to sell cars for customers, and then neither returned the cars nor provided any money from car sales.
He has been charged with five counts of wire fraud and is said to have fraudulently obtained 21 loans totalling more than £1.3 million.
Each count of wire fraud is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of £195,000.
Since the charges were brought investigators say they have identified 75 more victims.
Khan appeared on American television in November to say he wanted to surrender, but claimed his offers were being ignored by prosecutors.
In a video phone interview with the Fox News network, Khan said he had been hiding out in a country which has no extradition treaty with the US.
He said he would hand himself in if his wife and two daughters were flown back to America with him – allowing them to avoid fines for overstaying their visas in the country they fled to.
He said: “What more do I have to do? I’m basically practically begging you. I’m a fugitive from justice saying ‘arrest me’.
“I’m not pleading guilt, I’m not pleading innocence. The point is I need to get my wife and kids home so I can stand trial.
“Let me walk into an embassy. You’ve got a military jet going home, throw me in with my wife and kids.”
Khan was born in Edinburgh to Pakistani parents who are understood to still live in the city.
He moved to America to start a new life and swiftly became a successful businessman – despite investigators maintaining that his career was a sham and that he was a serial fraudster.
Police and the FBI attempted to arrest him at his New Jersey home in October, 2014, but could not locate him, sparking a nationwide alert and he was placed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted “white collar criminals” list.