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Woman who claimed to be Aga Khan relative loses IPSO complaint

Noel HuntA woman who told a professional footballer she was related to the Aga Khan has lost her complaint about a Sunday newspaper which reported her business was being investigated for fraud.

Yasmin Khaman complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation over two Sunday Post stories which reported her high-end vehicle rental company Royal Luxury Cars was being investigated after a number of clients claimed that their substantial deposits had not been returned to them.

The complainant said there was no ongoing fraud investigation and that the company had engaged a self-employed sales agent whose services had been terminated after a number of footballers had approached the company raising concerns that he had not returned their deposits.

She added the company had investigated the claims and reported them to HM Revenue & Customs and the police, and that any refunds were the sole responsibility of the relevant sales agent.

The complainant said the newspaper had inaccurately reported that she “claimed” to be a princess who was related to the Aga Khan, the head of the Nizari branch of Shia Islam, because these statements were true as she had married into his family.

She also denied a report in the paper that she had tried to convince Southend United footballer Noel Hunt, pictured above left, to invest in a “goldmine”.

In response, the Dundee-based Post said numerous people had approached it to speak about their dealings with the complainant, and there was a clear public interest in investigating the allegations.

The City of London Police’s National Fraud Reporting Centre had confirmed that they had gathered enough evidence to refer the fraud allegations to the relevant police force for investigation, and the Post provided copies of its correspondence with the police forces it had contacted.

It also said that multiple sources had confirmed that the complainant claimed to be related to His Highness the Aga Khan, and that when the newspaper contacted the Aga Khan Development Network its spokesperson confirmed that “this person is not Princess Yasmin and has no link to His Highness the Aga Khan”.

Furthermore, Companies House records show two companies currently registered at the complainant’s address, and that Mr Hunt said he had had several business dealings with the complainant in recent years.

This had been corroborated by other sources, and the newspaper noted that Mr Hunt and the complainant are both listed as directors of the same company in records held by Companies House.

The complaint, which was tabled under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, was not upheld, and the full adjudication can be read here.