Business student in court accused of bogus Grenfell Tower Victim Fund claim

Muhammad Gamoota claimed to live in the tower in an attempt to get money from a victims' fund

Muhammad Gamoota claimed to live in the tower in an attempt to get money from a victims' fund

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A business student who allegedly pretended to be a resident of Grenfell Tower to secure free cash and accommodation earmarked for survivors has appeared in court.

Muhammad Gamoota, 31, said he lived on the 24th floor of the tower with his father to get his hands on money from a victims' fund, prosecutors claim.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court charged with two counts of fraud by false representation between the night of the disaster on June 14 and July 29 last year.

During a hearing on Wednesday afternoon, the bearded defendant, wearing a dark jacket, indicated he would plead not guilty to the offences.

It is alleged he lied to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), which was overseeing the relief effort, to secure himself a hotel stay at the Holiday Inn, Kensington Forum.

He is accused of then making a false application for housing and financial assistance to the Grenfell Tower fire fund set up to aid those touched by the tragedy, acquiring £500 and attempting to get a further £5,000.

The defendant, of Westminster, London, was remanded in custody by chairwoman of the bench Jane Carr.

He will next appear at Southwark Crown Court on May 16 for a preliminary hearing.

The west London inferno left 71 dead and hundreds homeless on June 14.