Nine’s The Block is pulling in big numbers for the network and is also now embroiled in a real-life crime scandal.
It is The Block meets Underbelly. So what is the big scandal? Were tools stolen? Did Scotty Cam’s Frankie get dognapped? No.
Instead, it has come to light that a current contestant had a personal relationship with a known criminal.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that Omar Slaimankhel, was in the car with alleged drug importer Mostafa Baluch when he went on the run last year.
Baluch cut off his ankle bracelet, while Slaimankhel was in a vehicle with him.
Ultimately, Baluch ended up being hunted down by police. Though cutting off his ankle bracelet was the starting gun to a fairly dramatic manhunt that lasted 16 days and used plenty of police resources.
No charges were pressed against Slaimankhel by NSW Police, nor was there any reason to believe he was involved in criminal activity.
This is probably why Nine producers weren’t aware of Slaimankhel’s friendship with Baluch and why it didn’t come to light on any background checks.
A statement from Nine said: “All contestants undergo rigorous background checks before appearing on the show, and we have no knowledge of this alleged incident.”
The Daily Mail also reported that Scotty Cam weighed in on the saga and said: “I had no idea about this during filming at all. ‘I can’t really talk about him due to what’s happened, and I wasn’t aware of it.’
Honestly, this seems more like a storm in a teacup than anything else.