DUBAI// An Emirati services agent today admitted forging the signature of a Labour Ministry official on dozens of applications for employment visas. The case was heard on the eve of new visa regulations, which the Ministry of Interior has said are designed to free the country of illegal immigrants. Dubai Court of First Instance heard the defendant AA, 35, was employed by a local contracting company.
He had used the fake visas to bring 59 Asian workers into the country illegally, charging each applicant Dh13,000. The company's accountant discovered early last year that the workers had been registered as employees with the firm, but had no other records for them. He also discovered the company had not formally filed visa applications for the workers with the Labour Ministry to bring the workers into the UAE.
In late January 2007, a relative of one worker approached the firm to ask why his brother had been brought to the UAE on a company visa but was working elsewhere. The man told company officials he had paid Dh13,000 for his brother's visa to a Bangladeshi man identified only as Safur. The court heard that when the company asked its services agent to come to its offices and explain what had happened, AA could not be contacted.
The defendant later approached the company's manager to confess what he had done and ask for forgiveness. A ruling on the case will be given next month.