A CROOKED forklift driver blew more than £175,000 on a bank card belonging to Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.
Sharif Mohamed, 32, spent £20,000 of the winger’s money partying and on designer clothes in Ibiza.
Mahrez failed to realise for more than a month that a fraudster had blown the money.
The £200,000-a-week star took nearly five weeks to block the card Mohamed had got hold of to enjoy a taste of the high life.
In that time, Mohamed burned through £20,000 partying in Ibiza.
He guzzled champagne at trendy beach bars and blew thousands buying designer clothes from boutiques on the holiday island.
In the UK, his spree also included a splurge in a casino — as well as more modest outings to Nando’s, KFC and Greggs.
But the spending — equivalent to less than one week’s pay for the Algeria international — went unnoticed for more than a month.
Commenting on the case, former Met Det Chief Insp Mick Neville said: “The most amazing thing is that someone can blow £175,000 on a bank card without the loser even realising.”
The fraud, totalling £175,830, took place in 2017 while Mahrez, 29, was playing for Leicester City.
A caller posing as the Etihad Stadium favourite phoned Barclays bank to order a new card in his name. Mohamed said that he was working on behalf of crooked bank staff who allowed him to use the card — but he produced no evidence to back up his claim.
He travelled from his home in East London to Leicester to withdraw cash from ATMs to avoid raising suspicion.