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Colombia’s Faux Arab Prince: The Charade of Fred Khalilian in Medellin

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Fereidoun 'Fred' Khalifa Khalilian, who posed as an Arab prince in Medellín, hugs General William René Salamanca (Policy Director)
Fereidoun ‘Fred’ Khalifa Khalilian, who posed as an Arab prince in Medellín, hugs General William René Salamanca (Policy Director). Credit: elarmadilloco

Colombia recently witnessed a startling case of deception involving Fereidoun ‘Fred’ Khalifa Khalilian, who masqueraded as an Arab prince in Medellin. Khalilian, who lived in the city from 2021 to mid-2023, led a lavish lifestyle, frequenting high-end restaurants, attending major concerts, and mingling with influential figures, including military officers, business leaders, and politicians.

Khalilian’s ruse involved presenting himself as a member of an Arab royal family and a successful cryptocurrency entrepreneur. His social media accounts, particularly Instagram, under the name ‘Prince Fred,’ showcased a lavish lifestyle, complete with police and private security escorts. This façade continued until his arrest in June 2023 in Las Vegas, USA, for allegedly ordering the murder of a filmmaker who was documenting his life.

High-Profile Connections and Controversies

During his time in Colombia, Khalilian was photographed with various public figures, including Daniel Quintero, the former mayor of Medellin, and high-ranking military officers. He was present at significant events, such as the handover ceremony of the new director of the National Police, posing as a guest of Miami-Florida businessmen. However, the Police later clarified their unawareness of his true identity at these events.

Investigations and Revelations

Investigations into Khalilian’s activities in Medellin revealed that his police protection was in exchange for his donation to a police-organized event for underprivileged youth. His extravagant lifestyle, including spending up to $50,000 in a single night, raised questions about his financial sources. It was later revealed that his claimed royal lineage was a façade, and his wealth was accumulated through a series of frauds and scams.

Khalilian’s downfall began with his involvement in a documentary about his life. When he learned that the film would also expose his criminal past, he allegedly conspired to have the filmmaker killed. This plot was foiled, leading to Khalilian’s arrest and detention. He is currently awaiting trial, scheduled for February 2024, where he faces up to 30 years in prison if found guilty.

This incident in Colombia sheds light on the complexities of identity and deception in the modern world. It highlights the ease with which individuals can craft false personas and the potential consequences of such actions. The case of Khalilian, the faux Arab prince in Medellin, serves as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance in an increasingly interconnected and digitalized global society.


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