Chapter 6

THE JUDAS

As he was about to leave to a new country and start all over, Chahe remembered all those who made millions of dollars because of him and now had turned their backs to him.

 

Other than his own mother and brothers whom each took millions then left Chahe alone with the company problems, and never even bothered to call him; Chahe’s son Marc called his grandmother Houry when Chahe was obliged to flee; he wanted comfort by seeing her, but Houry refused to see him fearing that Marc asks for money. That’s how sad the family situation was.

 

When Vahe was going through depression in 2014 while having problems with his wife as she wanted to leave him, Chahe sent Vahe a helicopter to pick him up from Monaco and bring him to the villa in St Tropez so Vahe can get away from stress and stay with Chahe’s family. Then he brought back Vahe & Grace to Lebanon in his private jet

So many times Chahe took Vahe’s kids along with his own children on summer yacht trips, London trips and so on as Vahe was greedy to spend on such family trips, so Chahe treated them as his own children. Now Vahe had stopped talking to Chahe or even ask about his son Marc or daughter Tina, forgetting all those years when Chahe stood next to him and next to his children. There was many like them too. The first was Habib Hamandi.

Habib was the son of Ghassan Hamandi. Ghassan had worked for Chahe’s father Ara for over 40 years. Ghassan was the cashier and a very simple man. As Habib did not continue his university degree, Ghassan had asked Chahe a favor to take care of his son before he passed away. Chahe at first found him a managerial job at a garage which was owned by few friends. After a few months, they fired Habib blaming him for stealing a few hundred dollars. Chahe feeling pity for him, gave him a job at SAYFCO as an errands boy, finishing small governmental papers for the company. Habib used to live in a 40-sqm apartment with his father and mother. Slowly, more responsibilities were given to him and through commissions, he added on construction permits fees that he used to help the company obtain, he was able to make a nice little fortune. In just a few years, Habib bought a 500k apartment, got married, was driving range rovers and had a habit of having few mistresses on the side, one of them an employee in SAYFCO who used to be his informant in the company, and Habib was known to spend a lot on these women, as he was spotted many times with them in luxury stores paying thousands of dollars on clothes, shoe bags, etc. As years passed, Habib’s thirst for more money made him greedy. He started asking for much more money than usual for bringing permits and other governmental documents. One day, being fed up from this unsatisfied attitude, Chahe fired him but later on felt sorry for him and brought him back to the company. Towards the last few years, as the company was in a cashflow crisis, Habib started lending the company few hundreds of thousands of dollars at 6% interest per month, pretending this money was from loan shark/friends of his, whereas he was lending his own money that he had made in unethical commissions from SAYFCO. These funds reached to almost 1.5m. When Chahe was set up by Hamdoun and Abou Darwiche and had to flee the country, Habib made Chahe sign 10 apartments that were already sold to other clients in one of the company’s projects so that he can get back his 1.5m, as he knew the cheques he had in guarantee would bounce as Hamdoun had frozen all the accounts of Chahe. Since the start of SAYFCO, Habib was the one who used to bring the sales agreements from the public notary for Chahe to sign, and as Chahe was not very fluent in reading Arabic, he had full trust in Habib when signing these documents.  Chahe even included Habib in the Board of Directors in the company. Over 6,000 apartments were sold and delivered til that day and all sales agreements were signed the same way. However this time it was different; Chahe was backstabbed in his last days at SAYFCO, by a person who started with nothing and became a millionaire because of Chahe. After a few months, Chahe found out that Habib even forged official documents for permits pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars, and when he got arrested, he simply threw the blame on Chahe.

Another backstabber was Joseph Daccache. Habib introduced Joseph to Chahe in 2007, when one of the company’s projects had legal problems with a neighbor. Joseph at first introduced himself as a secret agent working for the Americans and that all officials in Lebanon were in his pocket. At first, Chahe believed him, as he helped resolve the project problem and in return, Chahe gave him an apartment that Joe later sold and pocketed 500,000 USD and a new Porsche cayenne turbo car worth over 200,000 USD. Joe at the time he met Chahe was a vegetable wholesaler and had a few hundred thousand dollars. After a few years, Joe had bought land in his name worth over 10 million dollars. Since Chahe was happy that Joe was bringing new projects to the company and solving few problems, he did not say anything regarding the big commissions Joe was making on the back of the company, nor Joe’s extramarital affairs which use to take place after hours in his office at the company headquarters. During the last year, he used to always encourage Chahe to buy out Hamdoun and use to swear that if one day Chahe left he would be the first to leave. When Chahe was forced to leave, he was the first to insult Chahe, spreading rumors that the crisis in the company was because of Chahe and accepted to take Chahe’s place on the Board of Directors.

Many others like Habib & Joe who made millions because of Chahe now had turned their back and were participating in discrediting him in order for their name to stay clean.

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