AJMAN // Three Emirati government employees have been arrested on suspicion of taking bribes to process residency visas that had already been rejected.
The two civilians and a military employee accused include two women who worked for the Ajman department of residency and foreign affairs.
Ajman Police, in coordination with State Security officers, also arrested eight people of Arab and Asian nationalities on suspicion of acting as middlemen.
Three of them worked in the visa typing centre.
The suspects allegedly processed 55 residency visas for Asian and Arab applicants for Dh75,000 each.
The police have arrested 25 people believed to have been issued these visas. The others have not yet entered the country, said Brig Sheikh Sultan Al Nuaimi, the deputy director of Ajman Police. "Police received a tip-off about these employees and their network," he said. "The police then formed a team and started the search and investigation in an operation called 'Spider Net', carried out in cooperation with State Security Police."
Brig Al Nuaimi said the visas the suspects processed included those rejected for reasons such as failing to provide genuine education certificates. Others had been refused for security reasons.
"The employees knew that the university degrees provided were fake but still processed and issued the residency visas," he said. "These employees have abused their positions, committed a breach of trust and received bribes."
Brig Al Nuaimi said that the 25 people arrested for receiving residency visas had been referred to the public prosecution for offering bribes. The remaining 30 allegedly issued visas will be arrested if they attempt to enter the country.
An employee who receives a bribe faces 10 years in prison and those who offer the bribe face five years.