A legal loophole has meant that only 22 cases have so far been filed with police against the owners of the Dubai real estate companies that scammed thousands of landlords earlier this month
Dubai Police said those affected by the Dh80 million con would have to wait for their postdated cheques to bounce before filing a criminal case.
According to Colonel Abdullah Juma Abdullah Saleh, head of the criminal section at Bur Dubai Police Station, "many people" had tried to file cases against the two owners of Marks Falcon Real Estate and FHS Properties - Faisal Hameed Sulehri and Muhammad Zafar Zubair - since they fled the country on September 1.
"But people cannot file a criminal case with us unless they have proof that the cheque bounced," he said.
Mr Sulehri and Mr Zubair had been renting out properties around Dubai at below-market prices in exchange for single-cheque payments from tenants. Meanwhile, they had signed contracts with landlords to pay them a higher price than was signed with the tenants - in four cheques instead of one. Owners found that the first two cheques would cash successfully before later ones bounced.
According to Col Saleh, this could mean that some of those affected would have to wait up to three months to file a case.