HARGEISA – A man who claims that he was robbed of thousands of dollars that he received in grants from Arts Council England, apparently told a lie to Somaliland’s media earlier this week.
Ramadan Ahmed, a 22-year-old British-Somalilander, accused the Horn Stars band, known locally as ‘Xidigaha Geeska’, of robbing him of $45,000 in a press conference earlier this week.
Ahmed, CEO of Somali Media Entertainment, a UK-based entertainment company, accused the band’s manager, and a singer he was planning to bring to the UK, of tricking him into handing over the funds.
Ahmed told journalists in Hargeisa that the singer refused to go to the UK after they received the money.
Ahmed also stated in the press conference, that the money was provided by Arts Council England, a non-departmental public body of the UK’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport.
Ahmed told reporters that the funds ‘belonged to the Government of the United Kingdom’, and that his company ‘signed a contract’ with Arts Council England.
After conducting an investigation into Ahmed’s claims, The National found out that Ahmed’s company is indeed a registered British company, with the registration number 105533903.
The National also reached out to the Arts Council England via email to confirm Ahmed’s claims.
Abigail Knell, a communications officer with the Arts Council of England, said the body never provided any funds to him.
“We have checked our databases, and there is no information supporting the claim of a $45,000 grant from Arts Council England going to Ramadan Ahmed,” Knell replied.
“We have no record of funds going to Ramadan Ahmed or Somali Media Entertainment Ltd,” Knell said.
According to local reports, Ahmed was arrested by Hargeisa police officers on Thursday after a separate investigation conducted by the Ministry of Information turned up the same results.
It is not known whether Ahmed will now face any charges in Somaliland, or questioning from the UK Government on this matter, upon his return to the country.