British actor John Alford was convicted in 1999 of supplying drugs to Mahmood and was handed down nine-month imprisonment.
By: Chandrashekar Bhat
Controversial journalist Mazher Mahmood, who exposed many celebrities but ended up in jail himself for breaching the law, will be the subject of a new series on Amazon Prime.
Mahmood, who had won several awards for investigative journalism, would often disguise himself as a rich Arab man because of which he became known as “Fake Sheikh”. The former News of the World journalist would trick his targets into making embarrassing statements for his stories.
In one of his sting operations in 2010, he pretended as an Indian businessman and approached cricket bookie Mazhar Majeed who claimed Pakistani cricketers Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal had committed spot-fixing during their tour of England. It was alleged that the team deliberately bowled no-balls.
Born in Birmingham to Pakistani immigrants, he took credit for helping convict more than 100 people for their criminal actions during his two decades of journalism.
Some of the victims of his undercover operations included Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, Newcastle United bosses Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall and Countess of Wessex and Princess Michael of Kent.
British actor John Alford was also one of the targets of Mahmood’s sting operations. He was convicted in 1999 of supplying drugs to Mahmood and was handed down nine-month imprisonment.
However, he faced charges of entrapment without clear public interest. In 2016, he was imprisoned for 15 months for “conspiring to pervert the course of justice”.
Amazon Prime believes the “king of the sting” makes a “fascinating” documentary.
“He successfully and repeatedly tricked some of the country’s most famous people, including royalty, into believing he was someone he wasn’t”, a source told the Mirror.
“Mahmood’s story is fascinating, it has everything,” the source said.
The media company’s confidence in the potential success of the three-parter stems from the fact that the series on con people including Anna Sorokin and “Tinder Swindler” Simon Leviev have done well on its rival Netflix.