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Man arrested on property fraud charges

A man alleged to have defrauded 10 people out of hundreds of thousands of dirhams has been arrested by police.

ABU DHABI // Police have arrested a man alleged to have defrauded 10 people out of hundreds of thousands of dirhams in a property swindle. The suspect, identified by police only by his Arab nationality, is alleged to have offered homes he did not own for sale through newspaper advertisements. Would-be purchasers were invited to put down 20 per cent of the price and pay the balance over 40 months.

After the matter came to the attention of the Criminal Investigation Department, the suspect was arrested trying to leave the country through Abu Dhabi International Airport in mid-May. The CID's director of organised crime, Col Dr Rashid Mohammed Bu Rashid, said in a statement that a second man arrested had been released as "he was merely the local sponsor". A third suspect lived abroad, but efforts were being made to enlist the help of the authorities there.

Following the arrest, Dr Bu Rashid added, "10 clients - seven nationals, two Syrians and one Swedish - pressed charges". The victims claimed to have paid sums amounting to hundreds of thousands of dirhams for flats they never received. Dr Bu Rashid criticised national sponsors for being careless about the activities of those they sponsored. myoussef@thenational.ae hhassan@thenational.ae

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