News Americas Now Network, one of the major websites which reported that the developer of Cabrits Resort in Portsmouth was arrested in China, has issued an apology on the matter and said the report was sponsored.
Last weekend the network reported that Mohammed Asaria, who is also the head of Range Development, was arrested and detained in China on suspicion of illegal fundraising.
However, Range Development quickly rubbished the story and provided photographic evidence that Asaria was actually in Geneva and not in a Chinese jail. The company then promised to pursue “the highest possible damages” in court.
News Americas has now issued an apology and said the article “was a sponsored one from an advertiser that should have appeared with a headline ‘Sponsored Content’ or PR News and not as ‘Breaking News.’”
“Unfortunately, this did not happen because of an editorial misstep on our part and for this, we apologize sincerely and for the damage, this may have caused to Mr. Asaria and Range Developments,” the news organization said in its apology.
The full apology is below.
News Americas wishes to apologize to St. Kitts & Nevis real estate Investor, Mohammed Asaria and Head of Range Developments, an investment and hospitality company, for running a sponsored Native Content Story as news on Monday, June 4, 2018 under the headline: ‘Caribbean Real Estate Investor Detained In China On Suspicion Of Financial Wrongdoing.’
The article was a sponsored one from an advertiser that should have appeared with a headline ‘Sponsored Content’ or PR News and not as ‘Breaking News.’
Unfortunately, this did not happen because of an editorial misstep on our part and for this we apologize sincerely and for the damage this may have caused to Mr. Asaria and Range Developments.
We have since removed this article from across our syndicated network.
News Americas prides itself on its fair and accurate news coverage but has no hesitation in acknowledging when it has erred. This is one of those very rare moments and for that, we also apologize to our dear readers who have come to rely on our news source.
Our sincerest apologies.
The Management & Staff of News Americas Now Network.
In response, Asaria said the matter is an attempt to defame him.
“This was a clear attempt to smear and defame my name and the reputation of Range Developments. We shall be sparing no efforts to find whoever is behind this despicable action and bring them to justice. Legal counsel has been engaged in four jurisdictions and is preparing for a lawsuit,” he said.
News784.com, a news company in St. Vincent, which also published the story has apologized to Asaria.