London — London’s Metropolitan Police have opened an investigation after British Olympic great Mo Farah made stunning revelations that he was illegally trafficked into Britain as a child.
The 39-year-old Somaliland-born athlete — who won double Olympic gold (5,000m and 10,000m) for his adopted country at both the 2012 and 2016 Games — revealed in a BBC documentary this week his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin.
He said he was forced to work in domestic servitude after entering the country aged eight or nine.
“We are aware of reports in the media concerning Sir Mo Farah,” said the Metropolitan Police in a statement on Thursday. “No reports have been made to the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) at this time. Specialist officers have opened an investigation and are currently assessing the available information.”
Farah was helped to obtain U.K. citizenship by his physical education teacher at school, Alan Watkinson, while still using the assumed name Mohamed Farah, given to him by a woman he says trafficked him to Britain.
On Wednesday, Farah was assured by the British Government that he would not be stripped of his citizenship, with a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson describing him as “a sporting hero.”
Rather than moving to the U.K. as a refugee from Somaliland with his mother and two of his brothers to join his IT consultant father as previously stated, Farah said he came from Djibouti with a woman he had never met and was then made to look after another family’s children.
In fact, he said, his father was killed in civil unrest in Somaliland when Farah was aged four. He said his mother, Aisha, and two brothers live in the republic of Somaliland.
His cousin Harun Aden – who also lives in Somaliland — told The Times newspaper that Farah’s father Abdi, a farmer, was killed by shrapnel from a bazooka and the youngster was then sent to live with an uncle in Djibouti.
“Mo was very young and could not work and it was a time of poverty and war,” said Aden. “He was sent to Djibouti to save his life and help his family because they could not care for him.”
Aden says he calls Farah by his birth name Hussein: “Mo is like his nickname to us.”
Aden, a father of nine who was left disabled after being shot, says Farah has looked after his closest family, paying for their houses with the money he has made during his stellar career.
“He supports his mother and siblings,” said Aden. “I haven’t had any money from him, but I am not upset about that. He has worked very hard for what he has, and it is enough for me that he helps others who need it more.”
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