An Embassy, a wanted man, and a big question
Where is Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi?
It's a question that plagues his alleged victims, who expected the 28-year-old Saudi Arabian man to face charges of sexual assault, assault, forcible confinement, uttering threats, criminal harassment, dangerous driving and assault with a weapon (a vehicle) in separate trials related to two incidents that occurred in Sydney between 2016 and 2017.
The Cape Breton Regional Police confirmed to The Chronicle Herald on Wednesday that they have the passport he was forced to turn over as part of his bail.
"It should be impossible (for him to leave the country or enter another without a passport) unless Saudi Arabia furnished him with a Saudi travel document," said Halifax-based immigration attorney Lee Cohen.
"They have done this before."
According to the Crown the $37,500 in bail, posted in cash, that was forfeited at a hearing on Monday was provided by the Saudi Arabian embassy. The remaining $5,000 worth of bail was in the form of a 2008 Nissan Altima that Alzoabi had put up as a surety but that the Crown wasn't able to seize.
"That is unusual," said Cohen of the large cash bail posted by the embassy.
The Saudi Arabian Embassy did not respond to a request for comment.
And Alzoabi won't say where he is.
"Probably not," he told The Chronicle Herald when asked via a Facetime call whether he was in Canada on Thursday.
"… I can't tell you that."
The call was audio only and, other than Alzoabi, the only identifiable element in it was a young woman laughing and speaking English in the background.
Alzoabi said he won't come back to Cape Breton to face the charges because he thinks they are "unfair."
"I can't respect that," said Alzoabi of the warrant and the charges.
"Everybody's against me just because I'm a (racial expletive) and foreign student despite the fact that we boosted so much money to that island of Canada."
Due to a publication ban and that the two sets of charges are still technically heading for trial, there is little The Chronicle Herald can publish in relation to the actual incidents.
While Alzoabi said he "still loves Canadians," that sentiment is not necessarily shared mutually in the Sydney area.
"He was rude, obnoxious and thought he was above women and the rules," said Jessica Hines, manager of Kevin's Towing in Sydney.
"He hated me more than anyone, I think."
Hines and Alzoabi got off to a rocky start.
"First time I met him consisted of him coming in my office and snapping his fingers because I didn't greet him quick enough as I was busy," Hines said.
"I immediately marked my dominance by telling him ‘I don't jump for men when they snap their fingers at me,' and made him sit and wait for near an hour."
Alzoabi became a regular visitor to Hines' office as she continued to tow his vehicles.
Between March 2012 and April 2016 Alzoabi racked up 34 motor vehicle infractions for speeding, driving with an invalid licence and for driving uninsured, unregistered and uninspected vehicles.
The still unpaid fines tally out at $68,967.30.
"The fines just kept getting bigger," said Alzoabi.
"… I think I bought five or six cars. They were all cheap cars. The most expensive was probably a thousand bucks."
Hines said it was more like 10 cars, but agreed that they were all "beaters" and all have now been crushed for scrap metal.
"I was just trying to keep my life going," said Alzoabi, who lived on Fairhaven Drive in Westmount at the time of most of the vehicle offences.
While repeatedly running afoul of the law he continued to study at Cape Breton University and just months after the two sets of criminal charges were laid, he graduated in May 2017.
An administrator of a Daily News Facebook group who shared the stories on the charges being laid received the following message from Alzoabi.
"(You are) a piece of shit hater, wish u die in cancer very soon for the hate ur passing around …I'll spend the rest of my life fighting ppl like u I promise u," reads the message from which The Chronicle Herald has redacted portions due to racist speech.
From here the timeline of Alzoabi's presence in Canada becomes unclear.
The Crown admits they don't know where he is, where he fled or if he is out of the country.
Prosecutor Peter Harrison said their basis for believing he left Canada is based upon a Sheriff's department document called an affidavit of attempted service.
In explaining why a warrant couldn't be served on Alzoabi on Dec. 8, 2018, that document states "Spoke to counsel, Mr Ianetti, stated he fled the country sometime ago. Media reports also indicate he had left the country."
North Sydney lawyer David Ianetti represented Alzoabi until being granted permission by the court to end his service in November 2017. He did not return repeated requests for information on how he knows Alzoabi is out of the country.
The "media reports" mentioned in the sheriff's document appear to refer to Alzoabi's social media feed.
A post from his Facebook account made on March 27, 2018, is placelined "in Saudi Arabia" and contains a video of a person getting into a Ferrarri and revving its engine. However, no one is identifiable in the video, nor can Alzoabi's voice be heard.
However, a family member of one of Alzoabi's alleged victims, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban, said that a staffer at Ben Eoin Beach Resort and Campground who knew him from previous interactions, kicked him out of the campground last summer.
He was reportedly a passenger in a car with Ontario licence plates that was driven by a woman.
Staff at Ben Eoin Beach Resort and Campground declined to confirm the sighting.
Alzoabi's social media posts depict a lifestyle of ostentatious wealth - there's a video of him eating a gold-encrusted sundae and a photo of a house with three luxury cars from Oct. 28, 2017, titled "Home sweet home miss it and should go for a visit soon."
He is not identifiable in any of these pictures or videos.
Court documents, meanwhile, show that while his trial was pending, he was living at an apartment on the first floor of 50 Towerview Place.
His conditions also forbid him from being at a premise where alcohol is served except to attend his job at Boston Pizza.
A staff member at the Prince Street Boston Pizza in Sydney said Alzoabi had worked there in the kitchen as a prep cook for about six weeks over a year ago but that he hadn't seen him since.
The mailbox of Alzoabi's most recent court identified address - 50 Towerview Place - now contains a different name. The current resident of that apartment could not be reached for comment and the building's manager declined to help establish a timeline.
The Crown said that if Alzoabi is in Canada and is identified by police, the warrants for his arrest will appear.
Those warrants are "unendorsed," meaning if he was arrested again he would not be released from custody.
"These are very serious charges," said Crown attorney Shane Russell.
Asked what he plans for the future, Alzoabi said, "I don't know, maybe Saudi Arabia."