ABU DHABI / A man who posed as an Emirati citizen and spent five years in the police force has been ordered to repay Dh270,000 in salary and allowances earned before his deception was discovered.
The Omani man obtained UAE nationality after claiming he was born to Emirati parents and presented the citizenship papers to the Ministry of Interior so he could join the police force.
After obtaining citizenship he got married, had children and registered them as Emiratis, according to documents released yesterday from a Supreme Court ruling last month.
The man, who was not identified in the court documents, faces charges in other courts for forging the documents.
He joined the police force in Abu Dhabi on August 2, 1997, and his deception was discovered in 2002. The ministry revoked his UAE citizenship by decree on May 12, 2002, and repayment of about Dh270,000 in financial privileges he had received because of his citizenship.
In his defence, the man said the Ministry of Interior had revoked his UAE citizenship illegally.
He told the Supreme Court that the ministry’s financial demands for financial compensation were not justified, and that even if they were, it was illegal to demand the money back merely because he had provided incorrect information.
He said the information he provided was supported by official documents, including a birth certificate, passport and education certificate, and there was no evidence they were forged.
The man insisted he was an Emirati, and that the name quoted by the ministry was that of a different person in Oman, whose details he presented to the court.
However, the ministry said it had never employed the other man, and the Omani embassy confirmed that he had never been in the UAE.
The embassy also told the court that the bogus Emirati had approached officials and asked to have his Omani citizenship revoked.
Ruling in favour of the ministry, Dr Abdul Wahab Abdool, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, said it had provided him with a salary and privileges only because he claimed he was an Emirati.
Dr Abdool, citing a federal law, said: “Whoever gave something thinking they were obliged to give it but found out later they were not, then they have the right to claim it back from the one who took it if it is available or its equal if it is not.
“The ministry accepted him because he was a UAE national, contrary to the reality, and paid him the allowance and the salary of a citizen.
“The ministry asks for what he has obtained unlawfully. Because of his status he had joined the Ministry of Interior and obtained the salary, allowance and bonus privileges which are the subject of the lawsuit.”
Dr Abdool rejected the man’s demands and confirmed the legitimacy of the ministry’s action and demands.