ALTHOUGH many foreigners refused to leave Bahrain despite the problems since last year, several who invested in residential projects find themselves at the mercy of rogue developers who have effectively stolen hefty sums of their hard earned money - or cash they borrowed from banks.
Today, these expats are facing financial peril and their dreams of living happily ever after in Bahrain have turned into a nightmare.
It is appalling that developers are allowed to manipulate the system and effectively steal money from foreign investors - and from their fellow Bahrainis.
Financial experts have explained to me that a loophole allows developers to mortgage off property developments already sold to homebuyers by surrendering the title deed as collateral - essentially doubling their ill-gotten gains by cashing in from unsuspecting investors and banks.
Or they can liquidate a company and transfer its assets to an affiliate, which then instructs buyers to approach the initial developer for damages, or transfer the title deed to a third party who is not liable for any claims when projects are not completed.
The initial developer then hides behind this curtain, while innocent people wonder how they will get their money back when such projects are not completed.
We as a country are still bogged down by turmoil and the actions of unscrupulous developers are only harming the economy further, since they deter foreign investors by creating a lack of trust in the system.
The government must intervene immediately and investigate this charade, which appears designed to loot money from innocent homebuyers.
It must seize the title deeds of such developments, penalise banks that lend to developers who do not hand over finished properties and create proper procedures to safeguard the interests of genuine investors.
People who buy property in the UK know their investment will be safe and secure because of legal procedures that protect individuals' rights to ownership.
After pocketing hefty sums of money from individual homebuyers, some developers in Bahrain halt construction and innocent investors who see no consultants or contractors on site have no option but to stop their payments.
Is the intention to force investors to strike a deal and accept compensation for unfinished property, which is much lower than the amount they bought it for in the first place?
All obstacles that impede foreign investment must be removed, as foreigners are significant contributors to the economy.
Inward investment such as property sales should be encouraged by providing a secure system that does not allow homebuyers to be victimised.
The economies of many countries rely on foreign investment and while Bahrain is lucky to be able to tap into regional cash flow, it must protect those who invest large amounts of their money in the local market.
Failure to address this problem will only scare off potential investors and tarnish Bahrain's reputation abroad.