Conman ‘waiting for daughter’s pieces’ busted

Published: January 13, 2012
Shamsul Anwar. PHOTO:FILE

Shamsul Anwar. PHOTO:FILE


Shamsul Anwar’s plan to con thousands by gaining sympathies failed when he was busted.

He was sent on a seven-day physical remand to the Westridge police on Thursday after he was presented before a magistrate.

The story of his daughter’s abduction was not newly minted, as Anwar has been portraying himself as a victim of terrorism since 2010.

However, when his daughter Madina Anwar eloped to Swabi to marry her ex-fiancé, Anwar decided to take advantage of the situation.

But for this purpose, he needed to gain people’s sympathies, for which he needed a story to hit the nail at the right place.

Therefore he decided to present himself as a hero before the media, a hero who was being victimised for saving people’s lives. So he claimed his daughter had been kidnapped by the same terrorists who had earlier kidnapped his two sons and slaughtered one of them.

The publication of this account in a national English newspaper gave credence to his story, with people flocking to help him out.

He also portrayed himself as a hero who had thwarted a terrorist attack at a mosque in Rawalpindi in 2001, during which he received three bullets. This, he claimed, was the ‘reason for his miseries’, as the terrorists were ‘punishing him for his bravery’.

He also said the terrorists had injected intoxicating medicines to one of his son, causing him to become a patient of blood cancer.

“Mein buhat mushkil mein hun, kuch madad karein meri (I am in great distress, please help me),” was how he gained people’s attention. “I have sold my house, my taxi and mortgaged my van for my son’s treatment. I don’t have enough money to save my daughter now,” he cried.

To prove the authenticity of his narrative, he would also show a newspaper cutting from an Urdu daily report narrating his ‘brave’ actions. His ‘miseries’ and ‘brave’ actions gathered him Rs900,000 in donations. However the bank account, Deputy Superintendent of Cantonment Police told The Express Tribune, has been frozen.

*Edited by Usama Zafar

Clarification: The Express Tribune earlier also made the mistake of reporting a false story based on an interview with Shamsul Anwar on December 31, 2010.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (54)

  • Jan 13, 2012 - 11:26AM

    I think now this man should be made Minister of Railway or Prime Minister or even President.
    What is difference between him and those who gather sympathies using names of their already dead people???????


  • sam
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:27AM

    if only it was 1st of april.

    would have had a good laugh.


  • Observer
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:48AM

    I was so having an intuition that he is lying and the whole story is a fake. DAMN IT!


  • Komail Abbas Naqvi
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:56AM

    Day by Day people of our nation our proving themsleves that this country can never change when we have people like this between us…I was so proud actually to read the comments to his article where people were actually sending him donations and asking for account numbers and calling him to inquire about the whole incident…
    do you think the same people who were trying to help him woild now ever trust any other REAL NEEDY person with their hard earned money…..we our heading towards anarchy this state doesnt deserve a revolution! My Salute to shamsul hassan for showing us whag wehave within us


  • abdul rauf
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:57AM

    You’ve got to be kidding me!
    Just because of such people, many people have stopped helping anyone who is actually needy and deserves the help.
    No wonder why we are the way we are.


  • Jan 13, 2012 - 12:02PM

    He was as true as zaid hamid


  • Farhan Gilgiti
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:09PM

    So what consequences are that “renowned” reporters of the “National” daily going to face for aiding a conman in ripping off the public?


  • Lord J
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:16PM

    this highlights that the basic reporting rules are being ignored by many journalists in Pakistan at a gross level.
    Her: I got a story that’s heart crushing, You: here I’ve got a sensation and Me: Sir jii I have a Tsunami, sb se pehly hamara paper chhapay ga yeh.
    Why would any of us or the Editor Saab would waste time and resources confirming, let alone-investigating the story?


  • Asma
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:23PM

    ppl like him have made us ignorant of genuinely needy ppl. but newspapers should also investigate thouroughly bfore publishing such news… so much for reliable and credible journalism!


  • ali baba
    Jan 13, 2012 - 1:02PM

    and that english daily was EXPRESS TRIBUNE


  • Random
    Jan 13, 2012 - 1:03PM

    I do not live in Pakistan and upon reading the story in the “renowned” newspaper, i asked my relatives back home to add some money to his account. And frankly now i am shocked at the level of reporting that is coming out of Pakistan. No one cares to check the validity of the story, the more emotional and twisted the story is the better it is seemed by the media…


  • Hasan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 1:20PM

    The paper in question should have done some basic research before bringing his sob story to the public. Now that this guy has been caught, the newspaper should accept its mistake and be held accountable to the public for misleading them.


  • Raza
    Jan 13, 2012 - 1:36PM

    “We read in a newspaper” that he is a hero in distress with disturbing detail. Then, “we read in a newspaper” that he is a fraud. Can you “Read” between the lines? I guess not….


  • Afaaq
    Jan 13, 2012 - 1:44PM

    Journalists need to be more responsible and verify their stories before reporting them.


  • Acorn Guts
    Jan 13, 2012 - 2:00PM

    Once there was a government that conned the whole world into giving them aid because their country had suffered at the hand of natural disasters and terrorists. The aid money filled their personal bank accounts to brim. Nothing happened to them and they lived happily ever after. Guess Shamsul Anwar is guilty of being a common man here, tough luck dude.


  • Khan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 2:23PM

    Well, It was smart plot and gave me 2 sleepless nights. However, i had doubts, because, he mentioned that SKMCH asked him 1.2 million for treatment, Since my mother was treated there, i knew that SKMCH policy NOT based on money rather stage of cancer. SKMCH refuse to take patient only if he/she is on late stage of cancer.


  • Mohsin
    Jan 13, 2012 - 2:53PM

    Huh! Moral values in this society have reached at its worst point! Can not get more worse than that! Corruption at its peak starting from a common man and ending up at the ones sitting in ruling offices! Playing with the generous feelings of those who felt for him & helped him!


  • najia
    Jan 13, 2012 - 3:07PM

    One Con man is not the reflection of Our Morals, rather thousands of those who actually stood up for him, only if it was real, who offered him emotional
    n financial support, due to which he could collect 900,000 in just 2 days. so calling out that we are a Nation ‘doomed for darkness’ because of such people sounds highly unfair, in which country of the world such people are noy found.


  • Nazar
    Jan 13, 2012 - 3:07PM


    Now how could I tell my grandma that all this story was fake for which she cried and waked the whole night praying for this…..what should I say about this man….he exploited our emotions.


  • Talha
    Jan 13, 2012 - 3:31PM

    Well this man’s story is a great plot for a film. I wonder why do we fail when it comes to film making. If a movie is made on this story, people will surely forget MI4.


  • rabbahs
    Jan 13, 2012 - 3:32PM

    Now I am confuse more then ever, who is right and who is wrong.
    Media is controlling every thing :(


  • Jan 13, 2012 - 3:49PM

    Reminds me of the boy who cried for help.
    This is why we generally don’t help our ‘awam’ !
    But on a serious not, well played Shamsul Anwar, well played. Recommend

  • Jan 13, 2012 - 3:50PM

    Shame on the reporter who published this story without checking the facts.Recommend

  • saeed
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:14PM

    it throws light on journalist’s attitude as well. who for sake of ‘scoop’ would jump into any stupid narration, not only endorse it but also take up the social activis’s role in name of gathering help for the ‘victim’. even the reporter reporting this story has been advocating for the help of the said victim in the past
    without caring for authenticity.


  • fatamees
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:19PM

    But ,it is not clear whether the narration about his sons is correct or false.
    Could someone clarify.


  • 69
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:36PM

    i got two words for each of them “G8” for the one who plot such a emotional plan almost made me cry to tears & “stupid” for the one who published such report without properly investigating the true back ground behind …..

    That’s how we are building our image in front of world Great Great Great Fantastic Duhhhhhh



  • Jan 13, 2012 - 4:59PM

    This only makes me say that Shame on paper that presented his story without checking the authenticity of it first.


  • Jan 13, 2012 - 5:03PM

    I feeel sorry for people who can play with people’s emotions! Im jus soo speechless.
    People like him should die in a river of shame! Aese hhy chalta raha to kia hoga.. But guys let me tell you somthing. If you are helping the needy, your trust doesnt count ..obviously we do not knw that he is jus pretending to be a pooor person by begging or by just making up tales. Allah counts your intention.. Your “niyaah” Baki sab Allah pe choordo.. Aglay bande ki niyat mein khoot hai to kia hua?? Tunhari niyat to sahy thy na :)
    Dont stop helping ppl just because of some pathetic losers! May Allah help us :/


  • Anwar Ahmad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:09PM

    Very common story in our holy Land of Pure. Now we probably excel only in deceit and frauds.


  • Ali
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:10PM

    This is the reality of Muslims and Pakistanis…..We all(majority) are like this. But we cry only on the corruption of our Politicians.

    “Morally bankrup indianized Pakistanis.”


  • Mughees
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:14PM

    I would blame our media in the first place which in the name of bringing timely news forgets each of the following important things that they should never forget:

    how the news should be delivered – what is the target audience
    what impact can that news have on the people
    and most importantly: whether or not if the news being delivered is true in the first place

    Media has a very important role in a country…. even the smallest mistake can cause panic throughout the country….

    But more than above all i am ashamed of the fact that we Pakistanis from time and again prove to everyone that we ARE the MOST CORRUPT nation of the world…whether its cricket or foreign countries or our day to day dealings even…

    No wonder we have the most corrupt rulers in the world ruling us!!


  • Jan 13, 2012 - 5:22PM

    We Have To Do…If He Has No MOney To Bring His Daughter Back.We Have To Save His Daughter….!


  • ouch
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:00PM

    another one of those stories like Swat flogging video…


  • QB
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:24PM

    What a tragedy. That newspaper should have investigated the claim before publishing. Another though is that in that story the man was seen praising Chaudhry Nisar and maligning SKMT by saying that it asked for 1.2M ruppees !!! Any chance this could be PML-N shararat to malign IK —- long shot but just thinking out loud ???


  • PakNumb1
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:24PM

    No muslim can do this to another muslim. It is a conspiracy by the enemies to defame the fortress of Islam and the our great religion. This above statements are standard issue, it works in all situations.


  • Lofted Shot
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:55PM

    Cheeta Story Teller. Great Conman until busted.


  • mmhmm
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:46PM

    well who knows who’s lying really.might be you.
    maybe you got under some influence too.
    who knows anything anyways.Recommend

  • Basit
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:55PM

    So quick ET was in parading it’s liberal narrative against the taliban, that it did not even check the basics of the story. It rang false from the beginning.


  • talha khan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:01PM

    i cant believe that this story is fake as the jaang group published this story in The News of about half a page…how it can be possible that such a big name published its story without authentication….whom to believe?????


  • Asad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:17PM

    900,000 in 2 days? I am proud of being a Pakistani


  • bold conscience
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:20PM

    his story was very touchy but when i read that chaudhary nisar helped him out and imran khan didn’t, i wasn’t ready to believe him. there were several loopholes in his story.

    praise of chaudhary nisar ali khan.
    imran khan didn’t help him much and shaukat khanum refused to treat his son free. shame on you for blaming such a great institution that runs only on donations.
    the way terrorists were ‘planting’ the bomb openly. no one’s that stupid.
    getting hit three times and yet the brave man didnt let go of the terrorist. yea right, superman! we believe you.

    these are enough to prove that his was a concocted story full of lies.Recommend

  • fashionista
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:44PM

    that newspaper not only ran the story without varification but also printed contact details and acc info… bravo Recommend

  • znz
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:54PM

    Shock isn’t what I feel but extreme dissapointment? Definitely yes. What-ay-story. Kudos to our journalists.
    I don’t even know if this account is true or not. What-ay story.

    And now, the genuine needy ones shall suffer as well. Pakistan Zindabad


  • Tanya
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:18PM

    That is the very reason i never forward each and every “so called” heart breaking story on social media, because once you forward it u involve others into it and are than partially responsible for the consequences.The sane and responsible thing to do is to investigate before forwarding/sharing, instead of blindly sending money to a bank account or influencing others to do the same. Oh well atleast……a lesson well learned.


  • sundas
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:40PM

    dear tribune please train ur reporter for reporting for any issue like that, i don’t understand how the management not taken the steps against the reporter to publish in the paper.


  • Xam Xaffa
    Jan 14, 2012 - 1:11AM

    This seems incomplete.


  • hotice72
    Jan 14, 2012 - 1:42AM

    Sher aaya sher aaya…..but nothing there,,!!! therefore when the real sher may come they would never find anybody helping them out. Oh God put all of us on right path. Aameen


  • Jave
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:08AM

    To those who are left Confused

    Recently a story- a cry for help was published. 
    The nation stood up to answer the call. Helped to the extend which was a few times more the need and want. 
    Then a news breaks that all was a fraud. 
    The nation was left in deep confusion.

    What I saw;
    People who stood up for a good cause. 
    Performed a great deed. 
    Promoted Humanity. 
    I saw a Nation that stood Together strong in age of Doom. 
    I saw that if this gesture was shown in any other country they would have made it a great news and showed off their humanitarian nature to the entire world. 

    ( I do not know the exact facts: any or both the stories could be absolute fraud. What I know is :
    Even though the doubt of this man’s authencity was there when I read it but then the thought stood stronger  WHAT IF IT’S NOT. Also, I didn’t do it for a particular person, I did it for anyone who is ever in need. 

    So this absolutely DOES NOT matter what the end of the story was. I would do it a million other times without regret. Because I know this is exactly what we need to be and this is exactly what others do not want. )


  • Where is ET and The News' mea culpa?
    Jan 14, 2012 - 12:33PM

    For all those people harping on about the misteps of “that newspaper” (let’s just say it, loud and clear; The News by the Jang Group):

    While the issue is very serious and demands that a great deal of inquiry and reflection be made, both regarding the the journalists in question and whether there are sufficient checks in place to ensure that facts have been verified before going to print – it has to be pointed out that the Express Tribune published an article about the same man (though without the story of the kidnapped daughter) written by the same Sehrish Wasif two years ago, on December 31 2010 (‘Forgotten hero: The cost of being heroic’). While people who sought to donate searched the web for more information regarding this man’s case, this article may have strengthened their belief that his story was true.

    The sign of a responsible newspaper is the ability to admit in full to mistakes and errors made by them – which neither The News nor The Express Tribune have been able to do so far – despite alluding to the fraud in later articles.

    Given this entire affair, I have little respect for both these publications.

    As for people who feel angry and bitter that their heartstrings (and in some cases their wallets) have been manipulated – the only comfort that can be gleamed from this is that it is better to have lost some money or sleep in good faith, than to have lost heart, generosity and compassion. Despite the fact that I myself did not believe the story was entirely true when it first came to light I admire those that stepped up to help.


  • Qudsiaa
    Jan 15, 2012 - 9:42AM

    Lovely @Truth Exposed:


  • Jan 15, 2012 - 10:18PM

    before believing anything i would like to know if his sons are alive or dead if dead in what circumstances i do not see any credible proof of any foul play after reading this news item money in the bank could be a valid reason to through suspesion on him??????????


  • Jan 16, 2012 - 4:57AM

    I strongly agree with the “Truth Exposed”. This man with a glorious name of Shamsul Anwar
    should be treated under NRO and elevated to the bracket of standby for the office of
    President. He is not a con-man but as much a genious as the present incumbent. The
    thing he needs is as good a PRO as Ferhatullah Baber and a defender as Dr Ashiq Awan.


  • Wow
    Jan 16, 2012 - 7:10PM

    i read this on FB and it broke my heart honestly i thought about this at night and cried for the man, even shared his story.. Shameless!!! this world is such a bad place.


  • Afshan Mansoor
    Jan 17, 2012 - 10:54AM

    Listen !!! he did save the lives of the namaz is and no one can deny this. We all were proud of him and greatly appreciated his guts . Actually I feel sorry for Mr Shams that man of his caliber had to go through this to earn some money . He should not be ashamed , WE as a nation should be ashamed that we cannot treasure or respect our courageous people as a matter of fact our National HEROS.


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